Review by Choice Review
Students of history are frequently admonished to learn about the historians whose books they are reading in order to better evaluate the contents in light of authors' biases and ideologies. Thanks to Lucian Boia and his coworkers, that advice is now easier to follow. Their dictionary contains essays on some 900 historians from the 19th and 20th centuries. Living persons and persons who have died since 1987 have generally been excluded. Various historians from throughout the world have contributed the essays, which are signed, range from 500 to 1500 words in length, and include a bibliography for further reading. Coverage is truly international with historians from non-English-speaking nations being well represented. The essays are organized geographically by country or region into 38 chapters. Also included are an index for the historians and a detailed subject index. The Boia volume supplies far more comprehensive coverage than The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians, ed. by John Cannon et al. (CH, Apr'89), which lists only 450 historians. The contrast is further increased if Boia's companion volume Great Historians from Antiquity to 1800 (1989) is brought into the comparison, with its 600 additional entries. Great Historians of the Modern Age is an excellent biographical dictionary that belongs in any good research library.-R. Fritze, Lamar University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Published under the auspices of the International Committee on the Historical Sciences, this useful companion volume to Great Historians from Antiquity to 1800 ( LJ 9/15/89) contains more than 600 biographical listings of historians from Africa to Yugoslavia . There is considerable imbalance among entries: 54 listings for ``Soviet'' historians (nine of them pre-1917 and hence not Soviet at all) seems excessive when compared to those for the United States (50), Germany (45), France (42), and England (28), all nations with notably rich historiographic traditions. The volume appears to have been designed by committee, with critical judgment eschewed in favor of bland representativeness. Several decisions are simply mistakes, including the tendency to narrowly define greatness as the writing of national histories by citizens of those countries. The exclusion of ``all historians who have died since 1987'' is also regrettable; the absence of such living or recently deceased eminences as Woodward, Elton, Chaunu, and Kristeller diminishes the book's comprehensiveness as a survey of contemporary historiography. Despite these flaws, the new volume is a distinct improvement over the first, documenting as it does the fruitful interplay of method and theory in modern historiography. Recommended for research libraries.-- David Keymer, SUNY Inst. of Technology, Utica (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.