Introduction: Writing History at a time of memory

Through questions such as ‘What is power?’, ‘How are revolutions generated?’, ‘Does public opinion really exist?’, ‘What does terrorism mean?’ and ‘When are generations created?’, Words in Time scrutinizes the fundamental concepts by which we confer meaning to the historical and social world and what they actually signify, analysing their formation and use in modern thought within both history and the social sciences. In this volume, Francesco Benigno examines the origins and development of the words we use, critiquing the ways in which they have traditionally been employed in historical thinking and examining their potential usefulness today. Rather than being a general inventory or a specialized dictionary, this book analyses a selection of words particularly relevant not only in the idiom and jargon of the social sciences and history, but also in the discourse of ordinary people. Exploring new trends in the historical field of reflection and representing a call for a new, more conscious, historical approach to the social world, this is valuable reading for all students of historical theory and method.