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Download The Whig Interpretation of History fb2, epub

by Herbert Butterfield

Download The Whig Interpretation of History fb2, epub

ISBN: 0393003183
Author: Herbert Butterfield
Language: English
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1965)
Pages: 144
Category: Historical Study & Educational Resources
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 758
Size Fb2: 1299 kb
Size ePub: 1893 kb
Size Djvu: 1428 kb
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Sir Herbert Butterfield FBA (7 October 1900 – 20 July 1979) was Regius Professor of History and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

Sir Herbert Butterfield FBA (7 October 1900 – 20 July 1979) was Regius Professor of History and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. As a British historian and philosopher of history, he is remembered chiefly for a short volume early in his career entitled The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) and for his Origins of Modern Science (1949). Butterfield turned increasingly to historiography and man's developing view of the past

The Whig Interpretation of History. Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979) .

The Whig Interpretation of History. It is part and parcel of the whig interpretation of history that it studies the past with reference to the present; and though there may be a sense in which this is unobjectionable if its implications are carefully considered, and there may be a sense in which it is inescapable, it has often been an obstruction to historical understanding because it has been.

Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979) was a British historian and philosopher of history, who also wrote Christianity and .

Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979) was a British historian and philosopher of history, who also wrote Christianity and History and The Origins of History.

Butterfield defines the Whig view of history as the theory that we study the past for the sake of the present (p. 24. While whig history is itself mostly a thing of the past, the fallacy of the A profound book, and one joined to the virtue of being well written. 24). Butterfield argues that historians distort the truth of history when they use sweeping historical generalizations to justify their moral values or imply that history has any one, all-encompassing purpose or meaning. To me, this book does for history what Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for science.

Butterfield, Herbert, Sir, 1900-. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by loader-DanaB on July 9, 2010. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Butterfield's 1931 book The Whig Interpretation of History became a classic for history students, and is still read today

Butterfield's 1931 book The Whig Interpretation of History became a classic for history students, and is still read today. He had in mind especially the historians of his own country, but his criticism of the retroactive creation of a line of progression toward the glorious present can be, and has subsequently been, applied more generally. They were of course struggling, but not for that. Butterfield argued that the historian must seek the ability to see events as they were perceived by those who lived through them. Butterfield wrote that "Whiggishness" is too handy a "rule of thumb.

Butterfield presents a monumental thesis on our interpretation of history- especially for Americans. It's a fascinating discussion of how history is written by the winners- the protestant, liberal, democratic winners.

Herbert Butterfield's The Whig Interpretation of History has recently been the focus of much attention. In 1931 Herbert Butterfield, precisely as old as the century, published a short book entitled The whig interpretation of history

Herbert Butterfield's The Whig Interpretation of History has recently been the focus of much attention. 2 Among other attacks, Butterfield has been taken to task for arguing that anachronism results from insufficient immersion in the documentary record. In 1931 Herbert Butterfield, precisely as old as the century, published a short book entitled The whig interpretation of history. It made him famous, and for the next forty years or so he stood forth as one of the leading voices in the profession.

Thus given a new lease on life, The Whig Interpretation of History became.

Eighty years have passed since a young Cambridge don named Herbert Butterfield published in 1931 a slender volume entitled The Whig Interpretation of History. What exactly this curious phrase meant was not immediately clear, since it had never before appeared in print. The book might have vanished almost unnoticed had it not been reprinted in 1950, after Butterfield published a bestselling volume, Christianity and History, which attracted enormous attention. Thus given a new lease on life, The Whig Interpretation of History became required reading for most history graduate students for the next quarter century, and not a few undergraduates as well.

The British historian Herbert Butterfield, in his small but influential book The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) (whose title actually coined the phrase!) criticised many traditional assumptions of the Whig history that had seemed to see liberal parliamentary democracy as the best form o. .

The British historian Herbert Butterfield, in his small but influential book The Whig Interpretation of History (1931) (whose title actually coined the phrase!) criticised many traditional assumptions of the Whig history that had seemed to see liberal parliamentary democracy as the best form of government which all peoples should hope to adopt and seek to perfect. Whig History for Butterfield, was a flawed history of progressive "liberal and democratic" heroes who had won concessions in the teeth of opposition from a variety of conservative and absolutist forces and individuals.

A classic essay on the distortions of history that occur when historians impose a rigid point of view on the study of the past.

It is not as easy to understand the past as many who have written it would have us believe. The historians who look at it from the Protestant, progressive, "19th Century gentleman" viewpoint are defined by Professor Butterfield as "the Whig historians." The Whig historian studies the past with reference to the present. He looks for agency in history. And, in his search for origins and causes, he can easily select those facts that give support to his thesis and thus eliminate other facts equally important to the total picture.

Comments:

Hystana
Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979) was a British historian and philosopher of history, who also wrote Christianity and History and The Origins of History. He wrote in the Preface to this 1931 book, "The following study deals with 'the whig interpretation of history' in what I conceive to be the accepted meaning of the phrase... What is discussed is the tendency in many historians to write on the side of Protestants and Whigs, to praise revolutions provided they have been successful, and to emphasize certain principles of progress in the past and to produce a story which is the ratification if not the glorification of the present... The subject is treated not as a problem in the philosophy of history, but rather as an aspect of the psychology of historians."

He states, "It is part and parcel of the whig interpretation of history that it studies the past with reference to the present... [this] has often been an obstruction to historical understanding..." (Pg. 11) Later, he adds, "The theory behind the whig interpretation---the theory that we study the past for the sake of the present---is one that is really introduced for the purpose of facilitating the abridgement of history." (Pg. 24) He asserts, "the application of this principle must produce in history a bias in favour of the whigs and must fall unfavourably on Catholics and tories." (Pg. 25)

He explains, "It is the thesis of this essay that the Protestant and whig interpretation of history is the result of something much more subtle than actual Protestant or party bias... The whig interpretation of history is not merely the property of whigs and it is much more subtle than mental bias; it lies in a trick or organization, an unexamined habit of mind that any historian may fall into... It is the direct result of the practice of abstracting things from their historical context and judging them apart from their context---estimating them and organising the historical story by a system of direct reference to the present." (Pg. 30-31)

He argues, "Behind all the fallacies of the whig historian there lies the passionate desire to come to a judgment of values, to make history answer questions and decide issues and to give the historian the last word in a controversy." (Pg. 64-65) He contends, "Above all it is not the role of the historian to come to what might be called judgments of value." (Pg. 73)

Butterfield's opinions will delight many, and frustrate others; but they are an important piece of the philosophy of history as it developed in the 20th century.
Arihelm
Those who believe in an “arc of history “ must read this salutary corrective, directed toward a “progressivism “ of a different age.
Rolorel
This is an excellent book that has been placed in the kindle format with numerous errors. Two misspellings in the same sentence so that the text makes no sense. The following sentence has added words and lacks the proper punctuation. It should be removed and corrected.
Minha
I expected this book to be much longer than the large print and 132 page small size paperback I received. I bought this book in the hopes that it would be an in-depth chronological narrative of British history that analyzed the Whig point of view and then gave the author's own interpretation of that history.

I realize that I should be reviewing the book the author actually wrote and not the one I wished he had wrote. With that in mind I would say this book is a philosophical view of historical interpretation. As a result this book is very short, but since it only a commentary on a particular historical viewpoint, it could have been even shorter. The author frequently repeats himself and could have made the same points in half the length. To sum up I was disappointed with this book and recommend you go to Wikipedia to get the gist of it - that would be good enough.
Djang
"The Whig Interpretation of History" is superb meditation on the craft of history and how it can be distorted by "whig history." This was how Herbert Butterfield described historians who project modern attitudes on to the past, pass moral judgments on historical figures, and regard history as significant only to the extent that it labored to create the modern world. Butterfield regarded "whig history" as the antithesis of real history, which glories in the sheer "differentness" of the past and attempts to understand past events and people in the context of their own time, not of ours. Butterfield's writing was eloquent, his thought profound, and his temperament humane. His book, although old, is a genuine classic, to be treasured by all historians and readers of history. Highly recommended.
sobolica
I bought this for a college course. I still don't know why it was written, much less assigned by the professor. Butterfield's main point seems to be that historians should examine history objectively and not impose their own beliefs or values onto other cultures. If that's the case, I don't know why he bothered writing a book to say it, or why it had to be so convoluted.

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