Darrin M. McMahon is the Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University. He is the author of Enemies of the Enlightenment: The French Counter-Enlightenment and the Making of Modernity, Happiness: A History, and Divine Fury: A History of Genius. Samuel Moyn is James Bryce Professor of European Legal History at Columbia University. His books include Origins of the Other: Emmanuel Levinas between Revelation and Ethics and The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History.
This rich collection of articles explores the relatively recent past of the intellectual history of modern Europe in intriguing ways.... All of the authors are intellectually engaged with what intellectual history offers, intrigued by its future prospects, and aware of possible pitfalls of applying their proposals uncritically....This collection documents a field in an exciting state of evolution with many intriguing paths open to scholars and will be invaluable for anyone interested in understanding the current state of intellectual history. Many scholars will doubtless appreciate the clear paths through recent historiography of the various themes and sub-disciplines this collection treats. They will find a guide, a bibliography, and a thoughtful analysis of topics they might wish to pursue in their own work. --Kathleen Wellman, H-France Provocative.... [This volume] challenge[s] readers to think broadly and critically about historical knowledge, but [it] also show[s] specifically how a new generation of intellectual historians is revitalizing an eclectic sub-discipline that never stays the same and never disappears. --Canadian Journal of History At the crossroads of many disciplines, intellectual history has emerged as a vital stimulus to the humanities as a whole. Shedding the residues of cultural condescension, European intellectual history in particular has come to be an endlessly renewable resource for creative thinking across the globe. As this lively volume amply demonstrates, it has a bright future in the hands of a new generation of gifted practitioners. --Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley Over thirty years have passed since the last major attempt to reassess the field of modern European intellectual history. In light of the seeming eclipse of some orientations (such as Marxism), the reformulation of others (such as psychoanalysis), and the newer turns in the field (from the linguistic to the postsecular and the global), the time is certainly ripe for a new assessment. This volume will hold a key place in further efforts to 'rethink' the field both as a collection of significant contributions and as a focal point for constructive, critical debate. --Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University The study of modern intellectual history is gripped by the paradoxes of success. While scholarship in this area has flourished over the past generation, it has become so sprawling an enterprise that its very identity is in question. Perfectly timed to address the growing need for self-reflection in the field, Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History provides at once a map of the discipline, a meditation on its history, and a provocation to new thinking and writing on the history of European ideas. This collection is sure to become a landmark, not just for European intellectual historians, but for anyone with an interest in the history of ideas. --Joel Isaac, author of Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn