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The shallow end of history? the substance and future of political biography

Riall, Lucy (2010) The shallow end of history? the substance and future of political biography. Journal of Interdisciplinary History 40 (3), pp. 375-397. ISSN 0022-1953.

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Abstract

The “Great Man” tradition of political life-writing in Britain originated in the Dictionary of National Biography (which commenced publication in 1882) and continues to this day in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The commercial popularity of the genre has persisted despite the challenges of poststructuralism and the rise of cultural and gender history. Contemporary political biographers who wish to incorporate new methodologies in their work, however, could approach the lives of Great Men through a study of how they acquired their reputations, thereby helping to explicate not only the importance attached to political heroes in history but also the creation of political biography itself. One case in point is my biography of Giuseppe Garibaldi, which analyzes the construction of, and political strategy behind, the remarkable fame and popularity of this revolutionary leader.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2010 09:08
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2800

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