Apologia della storia o Mestiere di storico
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Apologia della storia o Mestiere di storico

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  505 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Da quasi cinquant'anni l'Apologia della storia viene letta e riletta: scienza degli uomini nel tempo, comprendere il presente mediante il passato, comprendere il passato mediante il presente - questa è la storia, secondo gli insegnamenti piú noti di Marc Bloch. La sua (è stato detto) non è una filosofia della storia, ma il memento di un artigiano, che narra come e perché l...more
Paperback, Biblioteca Einaudi, 166 pages
Published 1998 by Einaudi (first published 1949)
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Kate
I turned to the back of the book to read the author's credentials, expecting the usual Oxbridge/Ivy League pedigree and litany of awards. Instead I was shocked to learn that Marc Bloch had been tortured and killed by Nazis. Here was a historian who joined the French Resistance rather than escape while he could. He penned this meditation on the nature of history as a Jew in occupied France, without the aid of an academic library.

Wow. It would be impossible not to respect Marc Bloch. Though this...more
Nelson
Someone should write a book about people writing books away from their libraries. A passel of them owing to war, WWII in this case (and, I think, in the case of Auerbach's Mimesis); others to distance or remote location (Empson in China). There is something ballsy about saying 'here's my opus--I wrote it from memory since the Nazis blew up my books, the indigenous population cooked them in a stew, the sherpa dropped them in a crevasse...' Anyhoo. Bloch's book is a more elegant, less systematic v...more
DoctorM
A 20th-c. classic, and a book that's been on my shelves since I was an undergraduate. A fine read by a fine scholar, and essential reading for anyone preparing to do History as a profession.
Jessica
Some scholars possess the ability to be quietly brilliant, conveying ideas and information in an conversational but comprehensive style. Marc Bloch is the rare individual who translates that skill to his writing.

This is an excellent little text that addresses how historians approach their profession. It is written informally and covers the process of thinking and writing historically--everything from defining what the aims of history can be, to using and evaluating bias in evidence, encouraging...more
James
If you are at all interested in learning how historians find out about the past, what problems they encounter and how they can and do make decision about what to include and what not, this is a must read. The author was killed by the Nazi in WWII as member of the French resistance, which left this book unfinished. However, it is still a monumental work. It's easy to read, but still contains huge amount of useful and pertinent information without the "academic rhetoric" that is so common among sc...more
Jackie
Excerpt from my essay:

Bloch expands upon this departure from positivism, attributing the theory’s shortcoming to the human element in history. To determine the cause of a regime change, we cannot use the same formulaic precision as a mathematician would use to solve a proof. “Where calculation is impossible we are obliged to employ suggestion.” In rejecting a completely scientific approach to analyzing history, both Bloch and Carr inherently admit to a degree of uncertainty in any historical wor...more
Dan Beaver
Second reading of this book; placed here because I really don't remember when I read it first.

This is a remarkable little book that should be read by anyone in the social sciences since the methodology transcends.
Yannicke
Although I did not find this book particularly inspiring, Bloch's classic is a must-read for any historian.
Kate

Marc Bloch takes the stand point that history should be like a science and tries to write out his methods as best he could. This method is heavy on the analysis of the primary documents and treating them a evidence.


Was nonchalant about areas that lack evidence. Believed that it is not worth putting thought into them and chalking them up as lost. But seem to be an avid believer that new evidence and types of evidence could be found, and should be used.



Worth Re-reading
Lisa
This was one of the principle texts in my "History of Historiography" class - the intro to my major in college. And for good reason - even where Bloch's ideas are outdates to the modern historian, you will find few in the craft who don't believe that exposure to his ideas is a bad idea. This was as crucial to my education as reading Aristotle or Hegel's take on history. I highly recommend it to anyone who wonders about the role or methods of a historian.
Victoria
I fundamentally disagree with Bloch's dated, empiricist approach to history. Much as he claimed to reject positivism as an historical force, he was still hugely influenced by empirical modernism, which no longer strikes me as a useful approach to history or historical writing. Probably interesting if a. you are still working through your own ideas on historical empiricism or b. have already embraced it, but not so much otherwise.
Kris
This was a very good book. I can see why it's still talked about, almost 70 years later. Thought provoking and insightful. All that glittery good review stuff. I think it's probably worth at least a couple more re-reads, coming back to it after reading similar kinds of works from other historians. I imagine it will hold up well. It's unfortunate that he was not able to complete it properly.
Susan
Why did I have to read "A Whig Interpretation of History" instead of this? This book is a wonderful, easy to understand explanation of why we study history. It warns of the pitfalls in every historian's path. The book does end abruptly. Bloch was active in the French Resistance and he was captured and executed before finishing the book. It was decided to publish anyway. I'm grateful.
Jonathan
Left unfinished by the author, who prepared it without access to libraries and who was executed by the Nazis in 1944, this book is more remarkable for what it is than for what it says. I'm not sure that the student today will find it especially useful methodologically; everything that stands out in my mind, his contemporary R.G. Collingwood said better. But it is inspiring.
Tessa
Marc Bloch is one of my new heroes. The incredible thing about this book is that he wrote about the role of the historian completely without the aid of sources--and it's soooo good. He had his teaching license and books taken away by the Nazis, and later he was killed by one of their firing squads outside of Lyon, France, for his involvement in the French Resistance.
Josh
An important but little known work. He wrote it while fighting in the Resistance and was killed by the Nazis before its publication. That he chose to write a book on historical methodology while facing certain death reminds me that the study of history is an essential, rather than trivial, occupation.
Faith Justice
This was written by a Jewish French historian while he fought in the French resistance during WWII. He was caught, tortured and executed in 1944 and didn't finish the manuscript. It's a mind-binding academic work on "What use is History?" Worth the effort.
Matt
An interesting and impassioned look at the role and job of the historian, written by a French Jew and resistance leader while he was imprisoned (and soon to be executed) by the NAZIs. Not an easy read at all, but definitely worth the price of admission.
Tom
Amazing book written as Marc Bloch was on the run from the Nazi's after joining the resistance. Bloch wrote the book for his son so that he could understand his father's calling. Bloch was caught, tortured and killed by the Nazi's.
Chris
An excellent study of what a historian can and should be. Too bad the author had to go and be killed by Nazis before he finished (or at all). (Hist 492- Univ Sophomore)
Doris
May 27, 2009 Doris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historians, history-enthusiasts
Recommended to Doris by: the University
One of the most influential works on historiography in the 20th century, and definitely one of the most influential books in my own development into an adult.
Ricardo Jorge
Foi o primeiro livro que li na graduação de História, e o modo como foi escrito por Marc Bloch durante seu cativeiro entre os nazistas é algo marcante.
Lauriann
I loved his ideas and theories but I think the actual writing lost something for me in translation, because it was kind of a chore to wade through.
Sally
This is one of my favorite books on writing history; the author being killed by the Nazis as a member of the French Resistence was a great loss.
Qhlueme
One of the texts used in an introductory historiography class. Straight-forward, relevant, enlightening, inspiring, at times nearly profound.
Tom
Needs a good chunk of time to read, as doesn't work well as a boom to dip into.

Thought-provoking and truly interesting arguments.
Seth
Feb 03, 2008 Seth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Medieval Studies
Recommended to Seth by: Jay
Shelves: history
When I get down as a History student St Marc makes it all okay. The most inspirational book I've read on being a historian.
Rex Draconis Sr
Amore per la storia, chiarezza nel metodo, conoscenza del mondo, linguaggio limpido ma mai monotono.
Avigail
Insightful and poetic, intimate and urgent. Highly recommended to those interested in History as a trade.
Alex
A tremendously important book from a historian's point of view but also an incredibly dull one.
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Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch (6 July 1886 in Lyon – 16 June 1944 in Saint-Didier-de-Formans) was a medieval historian, University Professor and French Army officer. Bloch was a founder of the Annales School, best known for his pioneering studies French Rural History and Feudal Society and his posthumously-published unfinished meditation on the writing of history, The Historian's Craft. He was captu...more
More about Marc Bloch...
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“Thenceforth they thought that, rationally concluded, doubt could become an instrument of knowledge.” 3 likes
“The very names we use to describe ancient ideas or vanished forms of social organization would be quite meaningless if we had not known living men.” 3 likes
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