Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Histories of the normal exception

In Dissent magazine, Francesca Mari profiles microhistorian and essayist Jill Lepore:
Microhistory arose largely in Europe and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s in reaction not only to the top-down historical narratives common to political history but also to the increasingly quantitative ones of social history. Microhistorians argued that the generalizations of capital “H” Great Man History distorted the truth of how most individuals actually lower-case lived and therefore advocated telling the stories of what one practitioner called “the normal exception”: the interesting small player who could stand in for the average person and, as a result, offer a unique angle overlooked by elite texts and master narratives. 
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