Cover of Discipline and Power by Reba N. Soffer
Discipline and Power
The University, History, and the Making of an English Elite, 1870-1930
Reba N. Soffer

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1995
324 pages.
$60.00

Cloth ISBN: 9780804723831

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Winner of the 1995 Sierra Prize, sponsored by the Western Association of Women Historians.

This book is an intellectual and cultural account of the growth of history as an undergraduate discipline at Oxford and Cambridge in the nineteenth century. History, the familiar centre of a broad Victorian consensus about God, country and good, provided the most consistent moral panorama able to satisfy a variety of intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic needs. The book argues that history was taught in English universities in generally Whiggish ways to develop a sense of national duty and loyalty in students. These students were all part of an elite, and most were destined for the civil service or for other professional or elite business careers. The author treats the cultural and political role of history and history-teaching in much greater depth and with greater incisiveness than has ever been done before, and in so doing, marshals together a great deal of new evidence.