History Today - Who Is the Most Important Historian of the Past 60 Years?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by von Poop, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Who Is the Most Important Historian of the Past 60 Years? | History Today

    History Today turns 60 this year. To mark the occasion, in our forthcoming December issue we ask a number of distinguished historians to choose their favourite works of history produced in the last six decades, and to name the most important historians of the period.
    Maybe a bit of an impossible question.

    I'd have to put Paul Kennedy right up there for his 'Rise & Fall of the Great Powers' initially, but there are rather a lot to choose from.
  2. Alan Allport

    Alan Allport Senior Member

    Most important of all?

    Fernand Braudel would win my vote. He and the rest of the Annales School revolutionized the whole discipline.

    (WWII link: Braudel drafted the whole of his La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l'Epoque de Philippe II while a POW in Germany, without access to books or notes - an astonishing scholarly feat.)

    Best, Alan
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  4. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    That's like an impossible question. As long as no one says Graham Hancock.

    To be corny won't history decide.
  5. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    There are many,some emphaising rather differently, the various facets of history.

    As Adam has said,a vitual impossible task.

    Ron, I'm not surprised you elect for Gilbert.What he covers, he covers well.
  7. sparky34

    sparky34 Senior Member

    hard question to answer .. I like RICHARD HOLMES and MAX HASTINGS both have
    produced books of top quality and very informative reading ..its a matter of choice ..
  8. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    to be honest, history has so many different facets that to pick 1 or 2 historians as most important would almost impossible for me.
  9. Jakob Kjaersgaard

    Jakob Kjaersgaard Senior Member

    As mentioned it is an almost impossible question to answer. If I have to mention one though it would have to be Carlo D'este.
  10. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Dan Cruikshank. His visual work as his written work is exceptional. I remember his BBC program on the looting of the Baghdad museum...Banged on a US tank...with brolly or walking stick?? Harangued the US commander...
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Jonathan Ball likes this.
  12. kiwigeordie

    kiwigeordie Senior Member

    Professor Richard Overy and Max Hastings.

    Also like to nominate a minor player such as Len Deighton for his excellent 'Fighter' and 'Blitzkreig". (Call it an 'Honourable Mention').
  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I have to remind myself, and perhaps others, that this thread title refers to the Most Important Historian.

    I have nominated Martin Gilbert for this role, despite the fact that I often find him not the easiest of authors to read and my nominee would be completely different if the thread title was the Most Enjoyable Historian

  14. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Its got to be Hastings, don't like the person but he has produced some telling books
  15. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    This is an interesting yet almost impossible question to answer. It's got to be one of two for me but I cannot make my mind up.

    A.J.P Taylor or Max Hastings.
  16. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    In terms of academic history I would say somebody like E.P. Thompson.

    In terms of military history, Richard Overy's writing has helped shape my thinking considerably.
  17. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Its an impossible question to answer - but intruiging at the same time. Are people like Ambrose or Beevor important because they push History into the more "populist" vein and make it more accessible to the layman even though their works have come under criticism or is it someone like AJP Taylor, Richard Overy or even David Glantz, producing quality works whilst remaining less well known? Is it about popularity or quality when we talk about importance? I'm just wondering what ye think.
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    my nominee would be completely different if the thread title was the Most Enjoyable Historian

    Most Important.
    Most enjoyable.
    Most annoying.

    Anyone got more categories to add? Then we could indeed start a new thread with subdivisions. I'd be quite interested to see what people say about the wider tribe of WW2 writers.
  19. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Well if we are talking about Important then Overrated would have to be included too!
  20. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The list is not looking very inclusive at the moment. To avoid accusations of sexism, do we need a Best Hertorian category?

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