Stories of a Historian
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Kantorowicz by Alain Boureau
Book DescriptionErnst Kantorowicz was a complex figure whose long incident-filled life seemed to embody many of the contradictions of the twentieth century. A Jew from a disputed area between Germany and Poland who fought on the German side in World War I, he first achieved academic success with Frederick II (1927), a work whose language, in Gabrielle Spiegel's words, "often came perilously close to that of the Nazi party" in its desire to see a reconstituted German nation once again dominant on the world stage. Forced to emigrate when the Nazis came to power, Kantorowicz later became embroiled in controversy when, at Berkeley during the McCarthy era, he refused to sign an oath of allegiance designed to identify Communist Party sympathizers. Resigning from Berkeley as a result of the controversy over the loyalty oath, Kantorowicz moved to the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, where he remained for the rest of his life and where he wrote his masterpiece, The King's Two Bodies. Kantorowicz the historian, however, had no wish to see his own life become a subject of historical study. When he died in 1963, his will directed that all his personal papers be destroyed. Why had a historian so involved in history wished to erase himself from it? In Kantorowicz: Stories of a Historian, Alain Boureau confronts this question by writing a unique work which is as much a speculation on the nature of biography as it is a biographical study. In the absence of personal records, Boureau seeks to get at the interior life of this enigmatic individual through the recourse of "parallel lives"-real-life figures and characters from novels of the time who were faced with similar crises and who shared aspects of upbringing, training, and circumstance. This fascinating, nontraditional biography, originally published in France in 1990, appears for the first time in English, translated by Stephen G. Nichols and Gabrielle M. Spiegel.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801866234
(210mm x 133mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 24-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Alain Boureau
Satan the Heretic, Paperback (November 2013)
Before the end of the thirteenth century, theologians had little interest in demons, but with Thomas Aquinas and his formidable "Treatise on Evil" in 1272, everything changed. This title presents the history of Christian demonology from one of the most original minds in field of medieval studies today.
Myth of Pope Joan, Paperback (June 2001)
This volume looks at the history of the myth of Pope Joan. It investigates the historical and ecclesiastical circumstances under which the myth was constructed and the different uses to which it has been put over the centuries.
Correspondence, Hardback (April 1997)» View all books by Alain Boureau
In this book Roger Chartier and his associates explore the history of a cultural practice that has become common and widespread: the writing of letters. They begin by examining the invention of norms for writing letters in the Middle Ages, and the fixing of these norms in popular manuals of various kinds.
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Author Biography - Alain Boureau
Alain Boureau is the director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. He is the author of many previous books, including The Lord's First Night, Alter Histoire, L'Evenement sans fin, and La Papesse Jeanne.
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