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A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society
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A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"Eley brilliantly probes transformations in the historians' craft over the past four decades. I found A Crooked Line engrossing, insightful, and inspiring."
--Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers' Republic

"A Crooked Line brilliantly captures the most significant shifts in the landscape of historical scholarship that have occurred in the last four decades. Part personal his
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 24th 2005 by University of Michigan Press
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Jan 26, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grad students, European Historians, Social Scientists
Recommended to Michael by: Karen Hagemann
With this text, one of the most renowned European historians gives a semi-autobiographical account of his own historiographical development while inquiring into the trajectories of the profession as a whole. Although Eley started out as a Social Historian at a time when such methodologies were just becoming popular, he easily accepted the “cultural turn” and moved into analyses of discourse and meaning, rather than base and superstructure. Unlike many of his generation, he neither sees this as a ...more
Stephen Case
Jul 08, 2014 Stephen Case rated it liked it
What does it mean to be a professional historian today? What does the landscape of the profession look like? What are the big ideas or transformations over the past half-century or so that have shaped how historians work and think? In A Crooked Line, Geoff Eley, a European historian at the University of Michigan, provides a personal answer to these questions from the perspective of a historian who has lived and worked through the shaping of the profession during this period. A Crooked Line is no ...more
Feb 09, 2016 ‎Seth rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I'm not sure who this book was written for. It's one part autobiography, one part disciplinary history. The author is aware of this generic awkwardness, and seems to embrace it. Although its most receptive audience will likely consist of academic historians, I can't imagine there'll be much here they don't already know. I imagine two types of audiences will enjoy this book: the novice grad student who wants a primer on the disciplinary trends of the past 50+ years, and the professor who will enj ...more
As a student of history and a fan of any academic who has the guts to say something personal (especially the guts to speak frankly about their own intellectual development), I really liked this book. Bragging rights: I got to see Geoff Eley speak a year ago and he was as awesome as you'd think. This is a great overview of the transitions and growth in the field in the last 40+ years.
Sep 30, 2010 Tracy rated it it was ok
I had a difficult time reading this said it was a nontraditional book, but ended up being similar to others I have read. I thought I would like the narrative...and did not. Enjoyed the last couple chapters though, and in the end left me asking more questions than having any answered.
Anh  Le
Aug 20, 2013 Anh Le rated it really liked it
My detailed review of this book could be found at:
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Geoff Eley is a British-born historian of Germany. He studied History at the Balliol College of Oxford University and received his D.Phil from the University of Sussex in 1974. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in the Department of History since 1979 and the Department of German Studies since 1997. He now serves as the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contempor ...more
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