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Ironies of abolition [Book Review]

Kousser, J. Morgan (1985) Ironies of abolition [Book Review]. TLS, the Times literary supplement . pp. 123-124. ISSN 0307-661X.

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History is better than ever. More broadly trained than their predecessors and more attracted to the social sciences, the historians who came of professional age in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s often learnt from or even collaborated with sociologists, political scientists, and especially economists. Many social scientists, increasingly dissatisfied at being confined to the relatively static and homogeneous present, saw the past as a fresh lode of rich and interesting data. The resultant commingling of history with neighbouring disciplines produced an unprecedented outpouring of monographs, conventionally. grouped under the rubric of the "new social history", that have greatly deepened our knowledge of previously under-explored topics: the history of the demography and living conditions of the masses, of non-European countries, of diseases and popular rituals, of ethnic groups and gays, of women, and, perhaps especially, of black people. Ever more theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, these studies have developed a momentum of their own, which has not, so far, been reversed even by the post-baby-boom educational cutbacks of Reagan and Thatcher, or the calls for a return to narrowly political and self-consciously patriotic history by Sir Keith Joseph and such American neo-conservatives as Gertrude Himmelfarb.

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Alternate Title:Progress and Human Slavery
Additional Information:Book review of: David Brion Davis. Slavery and Human Progress. New York: Oxford University Press, . ISBN: 0195034392
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131009-101509191
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41803
Deposited By: SWORD User
Deposited On:16 Oct 2014 18:59
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:52

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