Obituary: Maurice Cowling
Throughout his career Maurice Cowling was never comfortable with being described as a historian, since, as he explained, he had “drifted into becoming a professional historian despite an intense conviction, acquired early and never lost, that professional history is an illusion and historical writing an instrument of doctrine”.
For this reason, perhaps, it is as much for his influence as teacher and mentor to the conservatives in academia and the higher journalism, as for his rebarbative contributions to professional historical writing, that he will be remembered.
However, in a series of three books about British political history, he demonstrated that he could wrestle, albeit sinuously, with traditional historical problems as well as any of his contemporaries; and in so doing he gave rise to a distinctive school of revisionist historiography dubbed “high politics”, which attributed the pre-eminence in bringing about significant political change to the interaction of members of the political elite rather than to popular agitation, as liberal and left-wing historians had assumed.
comments powered by Disqus
- Tribes See Name on Oregon Maps as Being Out of Bounds
- Holy Haystacks! Researchers Have Officially Discovered A New Monet
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library