We are pleased to announce that a recent article, written by Michel Gobat and published in the December 2013 issue of the American Historical Review, has won the 2014 Vanderwood Prize from the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH). Read the article
Latest Issue: February 2015 - Vol. 120, No. 1
The February issue contains Jan Goldstein's AHA Presidential Address and four articles on subjects as disparate as human-animal relations in Caribbean and South American history, the reception of an eighteenth-century book around the world, the debate over the genocide of Native Americans, and Nazi-Muslim relations in the era of World War II-a sampling of the rich range of today's historical scholarship. Our usual extensive book review section contains more than 200 reviews, including 7 featured reviews. "In Back Issues" offers readers a glance at issues from 100, 75, and 50 years ago. Read more...
In "Toward an Empirical History of Moral Thinking: The Case of Racial Theory in Mid-Nineteenth-Century France," outgoing AHA president Jan E. Goldstein confronts the delicate problem of the historian's moral stance when investigating "an area in which the so-called verdict of history is loud and clear." Her case at hand is the fashioning of racial theories in nineteenth-century France among a group of intellectuals and writers, some well-known, such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Arthur de Gobineau, and Ernst Renan, and others less so. She strives to take us beyond mere condemnation and into a consideration of what she calls the "moral field," configured by "lines of force"-a range of norms or sets of considerations-which guided their thinking. Importantly, and especially in this particular moral field of racial theory, she urges us to consider "thinking as practice, rather than thought as product." Her account of these writers illustrates their practices by anatomizing the choices they entertained as they elaborated their views on race and racial concepts. Goldstein's essay thus not only offers us a window into the intellectual culture of mid-nineteenth-century France, but also suggests a model for thinking about race-or other morally vexed subjects-in other times and cultures. Read more...
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