Carr, E.H.

Carr, E.H.
   b. 1892, London; d. 1982, Cambridge
   Journalist and historian
   Edward Hallett Carr was variously a historian, diplomat, journalist and essayist. After studying at Cambridge he worked in the Foreign Office from 1916 to 1936, when he took up a professorship at Aberystwyth. His major publication of this period was The Twenty Years Crisis 1919-1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (1939), in which he rejected the ‘harmony of interests’ philosophy for the view that international diplo-macy is a matter of hard bargaining over contrary interests. This was followed by a period (1941–6) as assistant editor of The Times, during which he advocated cooperation with the Soviet Union, which had by now been his major research interest for thirty years. His masterpiece was A History of Soviet Russia, published in fourteen volumes from 1950 to 1978. Most famously, he argued in What is History? (his 1961 Cambridge lectures) that history is the product of not the past but of historians, who are shaped by their own society. When he died he was part way through a history of the Communist International.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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