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History and the Social Web

History and the Social Web: A Collection of Essays

A Collection of Essays by AUGUST C. KREY
Copyright Date: 1955
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    History and the Social Web
    Book Description:

    In this volume of 12 essays a distinguished historian demonstrates that the roots and branches of history form a continuous social web, that the events and societies of pasts eras and modern times form a complex and interlocking pattern when seen as a whole, and that a knowledge of history has a profound application to the problems and pleasures of the present. The volume includes the well-known essay, “A City That Art Built,” which has long been out of print. The first group of essays is devoted to aspects of medieval and renaissance history, and those in the second section point up the continuity of the thread of world history. The essays on law, education, and medicine which form a part of the first section will be of particular interest to members of these professions._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6333-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. PART ONE The Long Road Back

    • 1 A Society without Education
      (pp. 3-25)

      This is an experimental age. The wonders wrought through technology have been so marvelous as to incline all classes of society to scientific experimentation. Inspired by this support, scholars in fields of learning other than the sciences have been led to undertake varied programs of controlled research. This is notably true in education in this country and in our own time. Any idea, new or old, if dressed up as an experiment, is sure of a welcome somewhere in our educational world.

      No one, however, has suggested that we try the experiment of omitting education altogether. Yet, it would be...

    • 2 The Return to Law: The International State of the Middle Ages
      (pp. 26-37)

      So much has been said during the last few years about an international organization which shall bring peace and order to the people of the world and so little about previous efforts of society to achieve the same result that it seems not inappropriate to sketch again the outlines of one of the most successful of those attempts.

      It might appear rather rash, certainly visionary, to propose that the United Nations be empowered not only to administer territories gained by joint conquest, but also to recruit armies and levy taxes directly from the people, without the intermediation of national governments;...

    • 3 The Rebirth of the Medical Profession
      (pp. 38-58)

      I must at once disclaim any technical knowledge of either medicine or surgery. My interest in this subject is that of a historian whose yearly task it is, figuratively, to patrol the history of western Europe from 300 to 1600 A.D. watching all the activities of society, of which the practice of medicine is not the least important.

      At the beginning of my chronological journey the medical profession is one of great dignity and honor. It is possessed of a vast literature accumulated during an unbroken continuity of more than a thousand years, perhaps even several millenniums. Hippocrates, who was...

    • 4 Urban’s Crusade: Success or Failure?
      (pp. 59-78)

      The success of the First Crusade in its capture of Jerusalem and in the foundation of the Latin states in Syria was so unprecedented and so stirring that historians generally have overlooked the possibility that from the point of view of Urban II, who inspired the crusade, it may have fallen far short of the goal which he hoped to attain when he set it in motion. It is this possibility which the present paper seeks to explore.

      In recent years, it is true, there has been an ever widening awareness of the fact that Pope Urban may have sought...

    • 5 William of Tyre: The Making of a Historian in the Middle Ages
      (pp. 79-105)

      This great movement [the Crusades] found its fitting chronicler in William of Tyre, an historian who surpasses nearly all other of his Mediaeval fellows as much in the artistic symmetry of his work as he does in the inherent interest and almost epic completeness of his theme.”

      With this judgment, expressed by T. A. Archer,¹ nearly every scholar who has worked on the Crusades would probably agree. Nor does the reference of S. Lane-Poole in his biography of Saladin to “the incomparable Archbishop William of Tyre whoseHistoria, far transcending in vividness, grasp and learning all Latin or Arabic annals...

    • 6 The New Learning
      (pp. 106-134)

      The medieval historian has long been accustomed to regard the whole pattern of man’s activities as his proper concern. How could he fail to do so? For in the Middle Ages politics was inextricably interwoven with religion, and with religion was associated the wide range of social, intellectual, eleemosynary, and artistic undertakings in which the organized Church engaged. The economic conditions of the period were also of great concern to both Church and State. The medievalist, therefore, came early to the conclusion that every activity of society during this period was of potential significance, and that, since the humanities interested...

    • 7 A City That Art Built
      (pp. 135-173)

      Is art related to life? Or is it a thing apart, a gift peculiar to certain individuals in certain places and at certain times? Is its efflorescence a blessing that cannot be anticipated, its decadence a calamity that cannot be averted? Or is it something within the reach of men if they choose to strive for it? Does art represent some erratic and unpredictable burst of human energy, or is it rather a crystallization of human experience and social endeavor?

      Such questions have doubtless been in the minds of men through countless ages. Homer quite simply ascribed the diverse gifts...

    • 8 Seeing the Renaissance Whole
      (pp. 174-192)

      It would be hard to find in any language a word more fully freighted with optimism than the term “Renaissance.” Heaven alone holds more. To be born again, presumably with the opportunity to avoid all unpleasant experiences of a previous existence, to enjoy once more and to the full the springtime of youth and then as middle age creeps on to revel in the highest intellectual and aesthetic pleasures that the world has ever known—all this and more is implied in the word. And this is the term that has been applied to a period of European history variously...

  4. PART TWO The Social Web:: World-wide And Time-deep

    • 9 The Social Web
      (pp. 195-208)

      I was to have spent the year in Europe—an American scholar visiting with fellow historians abroad, shaking the dust from medieval manuscripts, and roaming among the remains of older civilizations. But the coming of war in Europe denied me this privilege and my sabbatical leave was transformed into a return to the life of a graduate student working in the library stacks at Harvard, Princeton, and North Carolina.

      The illusion of a return to the days of my graduate study was heightened by the fact that I turned again to some of the problems I had to deal with...

    • 10 What Is American History?
      (pp. 209-223)

      No subject in the curriculum of the social studies holds a position of greater importance than American history. There are few states or local authorities which do not require at least one course in it of all students, and many require such a course in each segment of the educational system, elementary and secondary—some too in college. It is virtually the only subject in the social studies upon whose requirement educational and lay authorities are in complete agreement. That being the case, why raise any question about it?

      Yet I must insist that there is a question. In fact,...

    • 11 Monte Cassino, Metten, and Minnesota
      (pp. 224-236)

      Monte Cassino in Italy, Metten in Bavaria, Minnesota in the United States. What link can possibly exist between them, other than the obvious identity of initial letter?

      To begin with Monte Cassino, its claim to fame for the historian at least, is that there, in 529, the Rule of St. Benedict was formulated. This Rule, better described as a constitution, came into being during the critical years when the old Roman Empire of the West was breaking down and western Europe was coming under the domination of those vigorous but untaught tribesmen from the north known as the Teutons. Among...

    • 12 History in an Age of Technology
      (pp. 237-256)

      Not so long ago I thought the important questions in history centered around such problems as whether the Battle of Tours should be called of Tours or of Poitiers; whether Attila, the king of the Huns, failed to make his threatened attack upon Rome because he was ill, because he was bought off, or because he was overawed by Pope Leo; whether Rome fell in 325, 476, 768, 1453, or has not fallen yet; whether Leif Ericson reached Chesapeake Bay or went only as far as the Jersey coast, or perhaps Rhode Island, or Cambridge, in Massachusetts, or not any...

  5. INDEX
    (pp. 257-269)