Among the most accomplished historians of his generation, John Lukacs has written more than twenty books and hundreds of essays and reviews. His scholarship encompasses the history of the modern age, focusing especially on the political, ideological, intellectual, and military struggles of the twentieth century. Integral to that project has been Lukacs’s effort to clarify and interpret the evolution of thought and consciousness during the approximately 500 years that constitute “modern” history. As the modern age passes, as the institutions, ideas, values, and experiences that composed the life of the era recede and disappear, Lukacs has assumed the responsibility to “think about thinking.” And for Lukacs, no aspect of thought is more important to understanding the modern age than the emergence of historical consciousness.
Remembered Past: John Lukacs on History, Historians, and Historical Knowledge—A Reader draws together Lukacs’s scattered and diverse writings on history. The volume serves as an introduction to this essential aspect of Lukacs’s thought and an indispensable compendium of his most important writings on the subject. In the essays, reviews, commentaries, and book chapters collected in Remembered Past, Lukacs addresses the problem of historical knowledge, evaluates the contributions of historians and writers who have used, and often abused, history, and examines the significance of place in developing a sense of the past. He concludes with a consideration of the twentieth century and the task of reading, writing, and teaching history. Significantly, this authorized “reader” also includes a complete bibliography of Lukacs’s writings through 2003.