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What is Cultural History? has established itself as an essential guide to what cultural historians do and how they do it. Now fully updated in its third edition, leading historian Peter Burke offers afresh his accessible account of the past, present and future of cultural history, as it has been practised not only in the English-speaking world, but also in Continental Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere.
Burke begins by discussing the ‘classic’ phase of cultural history, associated with Jacob Burckhardt and Johan Huizinga, and the Marxist reaction to it, from Frederick Antal to Edward Thompson. He then charts the rise of cultural history in more recent times, concentrating on the work of the last generation, often described as the ‘New Cultural History’. He places cultural history in its own cultural context, noting links between new approaches to historical thought and writing and the rise of feminism, postcolonial studies and an everyday discourse in which the idea of culture plays an increasingly important part. The new edition also surveys the latest developments in the field and considers the directions that cultural history has been taking in the twenty-first century and may take in the future.
This landmark book will continue to be essential reading for students of history, anthropology, cultural studies and literary studies.