Downward Mobility

Linda Colley

  • The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians edited by John Cannon, R.H.C. Davis, William Doyle and Jack Greene
    Blackwell, 480 pp, £39.95, September 1988, ISBN 0 631 14708 X
  • Edward Gibbon, Luminous Historian, 1772-1794 by Patricia Craddock
    Johns Hopkins, 432 pp, £19.00, February 1989, ISBN 0 8018 3720 0
  • Gibbon: Making History by Roy Porter
    Palgrave, 187 pp, £14.95, February 1989, ISBN 0 312 02728 1
  • Macaulay by Owen Dudley Edwards
    Trafalgar Square, 160 pp, £5.95, October 1988, ISBN 0 297 79468 X
  • Acton by Hugh Tulloch
    Trafalgar Square, 144 pp, £5.95, October 1988, ISBN 0 297 79470 1

We live in reactionary times. One indication of this is the growing trend among both politicians and academics to prescribe what historical study should be: how it should be organised and conducted, what it should be about, why it should be pursued at all. Such prescriptions can sometimes stem from genuine scholarly or cultural concern. But they can also betoken a dangerously closed mind.

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