"New" New History: A Longue Duree Structure

Historians of historiography have paid more attention to differences and innovations than to similarities and constants. This article investigates the importance of "longue duree structures" in nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography. The first part shows the extent of the common philosophical ideas shared by the "new histories" on the rise from the 1920s to the 1970s: the Annales school, Marxist historiography, the American social science historians, the Past and Present group, and the "Bielefeld school." It suggests continuity between German Historismus and these "new histories." From the postmodern point of view, all "new histories" are also "modern histories"; since the 1970s various types of history have come to be regarded as postmodern and, therefore, radically different. The second part of the article brings to light major continuities running from modern to postmodern thought, from the "new histories" to the "new new histories." The article ends with some ideas on how to "reconstruct" a plural historiographical community.