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Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales

2015/2 (70th Year)

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Since the 1970s, most historians in the anglophone world have worked on time-scales of between five and fifty years. This narrow focus represented a retreat from the longer periods generally covered before the late twentieth century and served not only to cut them off from wider reading publics but also to deprive them of the influence on public policy and global governance they had once had. This article surveys the causes and the consequences of this retreat and proposes a solution for the crisis of confidence and of relevance it has created. A return to what Fernand Braudel classically termed the longue durée in the Annales in 1958 is now both imperative and feasible: imperative, in order to restore history’s place as a critical social science; feasible, due to the increased availability of large amounts of historical data and the digital tools necessary to analyze them.


  1. From the Longue Durée to Microhistory
  2. A Change of Scale: A Return to the Longue Durée?
  3. Big is Back: The Return of the Longue Durée

To cite this article

David Armitage, Jo Guldi, “ Le retour de la longue durée : une perspective anglo-américaine ”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 2/2015 (70e année) , p. 289-318
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-annales-2015-2-page-289.htm.

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