Eighty years have passed since a young Cambridge don named Herbert Butterfield published in a slender volume entitled The Whig. The former Master of Peterhouse, Herbert Butterfield, has become something of a Less a book than a lengthy essay, The Whig Interpretation of History is a. Herbert Butterfield (). The Whig Interpretation of History [All footnotes are editorial; relevant online materials: Butterfield Papers at the Cambridge.

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Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Published September 17th by W. He looks for agency in history. His alternative is unsatisfying, though, and I think the case whog be made for a view of history that acknowledges and displays its complexity—not only of events but of people and motives—and yet dares to make moral judgments that can, indeed, filter down to change us in the present.

It brings to light overlooked assumptions and presents a sharp critique of historians who simplify history and adore it only for what it can give to the present. Nevertheless, Butterfield achieved a vaunted double first, and won the Le Bas prize, the winner of which saw their essay published by the Cambridge University Press.

Ms Btterfield Dahlstrom NA. Lists with This Book. Christianity in European History. In particular, he attacks a more or less literally whiggish tendency among British historians, who have always written history qhig the story of liberty and constitutionalism.


KuhnThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Jan 05, Usha Chilukuri rated it really liked it. I believe there is a middle way he does not consider here. Aug 10, Kristen Cray rated it really liked it. The Englishman and His History. Could have been half the length. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. At the same time, Butterfield’s early works emphasized the limits of a historian’s moral conclusions, “If history can do anything it is to remind us that all our judgments are merely hdrbert to time and circumstance.

Herbert Butterfield – Wikipedia

Easily iterpretation in an evening and best consumed whole, Herbert Butterfield’s book is a wonderful indictment of the historical meta-narratives that are typical of ‘Whig’ historians. He rightly cautions us away from linear, progressive, value-laden, reductionist interpretations of history toward an approach that appreciates the diversity and the meanderings of the past and one that sees the events and people of the past as they saw themselves.

Apr 17, Rebecca rated it really liked it. Account Options Sign in. Skip to main content.

University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed. Great food for thought, however much one might like Macaulay’s story-line of progress down to the present. TrevelyanLondon,p.


The Whig Interpretation of History. Books by Herbert Butterfield.

Herbert Butterfield

Upon his death doctors found that he possessed only one functioning kidney; the other having been shrivelled since birth. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Aug 23, Lee Butterfeild rated it really liked it.

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. I strongly agree with much of this, but I’m not sure the book starts out on the right track. Christianity, diplomacy and war. Nov 26, Mike rated it liked it. This book has really opened my own eyes to things that I see everyday in social media.

Excellent analysis of Whig history–that is, defining the past in terms of hisgory present. However, as Butterfield himself might say, these things have to be looked at in context.

Mar 27, Robert Terry rated it it was amazing.