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The Ivory Tower And Beyond: Participant Historians Of The Pacific (Pacific Focus)
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The five historians in this book were all, to varying degrees, participant historians, whose life within the ivory tower was complemented by an engagement with public affairs. Conversely, their activism and civil engagement fed back into the history they wrote. J.C. Beaglehole was the renowned editor of 'Captain Cook's Journals' and a public intellectual and critical conscience in his native New Zealand. His student J.W. Davidson founded a distinctive school of Pacific Islands history and went on to be a constitutional adviser to Pacific territories on the threshold of independence. He bequeathed a tradition of the engaged scholar which he, in turn, inherited from Beaglehole. For Richard Gilson the cause was less political than a sometimes obsessive devotion to establishing the place of Samoans in their historical encounter with Europeans. Harry Maude started as a colonial official and made a long-awaited mid-career change to studying the people he had once administered. Brij V. Lal has deliberately lived at the interface of scholarship and action, particularly as one of the makers of Fiji's 1997 Constitution. 'The Ivory Tower and Beyond' takes a biographical approach and more. It is also an excursion into intellectual and institutional history. It interweaves the subjects' interests and activities within and beyond the ivory tower and shows that these seemingly discrete activities are not disassociated from each other. In each case the public figure and the man of letters is inseparable. 'The Ivory Tower and Beyond' also demonstrates that a proper appreciation of a historian's writings requires an understanding of the backgrounds and the structures within which the texts were created - upbringing, academic training, institutional pressures and the vagaries of patronage and preferment. Private lives and professional formations intertwine and are refracted by an institutional prism.


Book: The Ivory Tower And Beyond: Participant Historians Of The Pacific (Pacific Focus)
ISBN-13: 0978144380534
Product Code 0978144380534
Binding: Hard Bound
Publishing Date: 2009-05-01
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Language: English

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