Chapter

Introduction

Jo Burr Margadant

in The New Biography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221406
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520935310 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221406.003.0001
Introduction

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Biography is for academic historians who turn over the fragments of earlier generations in search of fresh lessons to tell us about ourselves. The so-called “new biographers” do not take cues for narrating people's lives from either psychology or earlier practitioners of the craft, neither of whose epistemological premises they share any longer. The end of biography on the front line of academic history dates from after the Second World War, when important historians shifted the plot line of the past away from acts by major figures in public life to external forces identified as shaping the actions and choices of agglomerated individuals.

Keywords: biography; public life; academic historians; biographer

Chapter.  13667 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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