chapter  4
The Contemporary Status
Pages 24

The particular shape of the contemporary American dimension is a hybrid product of the experience of the last two decades and the fundamental structure of American historiography revealed in its tradition of European history. World War II itself witnessed both the climax of the prewar tendencies toward the growing intimacy of American historians with European history and the incubation of the newer tendencies toward a reformulation of the relationship that are prominent today. The deepening conviction of a general cultural crisis helped to weld the formerly discrete international and social fields of history into an integrated process that led to not only a total but a totalitarian war. David Landes' general essay on the nineteenth century industrial revolution and Rondo Cameron's disposition of European economic growth around the problem of French capital formation show the fruitfulness of this approach for American scholarship.