Review of James T. Shotwell: The History of History

Review of The History of History, by James T. Shotwell, Social Research, Vol. 8, No. 1 (February 1941).


There are two ways in which one may attempt to elucidate the meaning of history. One may engage in a quest for the causes of historical phenomena as such, that is, in a philosophy of history.  Or one may raise the more elementary question of how it came to pass that a certain type of phenomena is looked upon as “historical,” in other words, is designated by a term which originally designated not phenomena but a human attitude toward them a, certain type of inquiry.  The title of Professor Shotwell’s book suggests that he has recognized the urgency of the elementary and therefore truly philosophic question. And the book itself bears out this impression to a considerable extent.

The New School