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Czech Historiography at a Turning-point

Written by Jan Křen, this article appeared on the sixth issue of the journal East European Politics and Societies in 1992.
To throw at least some light on the fate of the historical scholarship in Czechoslovakia at the end of the Communist era, November 1989 and shortly after, the subject must be limited to Czech historiography, as the specific development in Slovakia would require a separate essay. This essay focuses primarily on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, because earlier situation was, and is, rather different. Two aspects appear in the author's attempts to analyze the problems. One is personal and concerned with historians themselves, their institutions and organizations, and their entire community in brief; the other involves the actual subject; the state of historical scholarship, the themes studied, and the research methods used. In both cases, the bases was the policy of the totalitarian regime, which affected the fate of historiography in a way unusual in democratic societies.


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