August 2011, Polity
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Reviews in History
"Paul has accessibly, lucidly and systematically analysed the development of White’s thought in such a way as to challenge the common understanding of White as a poststructuralist and postmodernist. He has, in short, produced a fine introduction."
European Review of History
"Warmly recommended to every historian as a reliable roadmap into the highly relevant quest of this philosopher."
"Herman Paul has written a sharp book on an American intellectual whose work was not that of an outsider throwing rocks at a profession."
"This study is unlikely to be surpassed in the near future in its scholarly attention to detail."
"A sharp book on an American intellectual whose work was not that of an outsider throwing rocks at a profession. This essay-review applauds Paul's endeavor."
"This book both attests to the importance of Hayden White as a metahistorian and provides a lucid account of his life and thought. It is a well-deserved tribute to the work and the man - a reliable introduction and an invitation to join in the critical dialogue his thought encourages."
Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University
"In this deeply researched and probing analysis of Hayden White, Herman Paul offers a strikingly novel interpretation of the goals and significance of his theories of historical writing. In contrast to virtually all previous commentators, Paul argues that the core of White's work is not principally concerned with rhetoric and narratology as such but seeks, instead, to offer a form of 'liberation historiography' that can free historians of the 'burden of history,' a concern stemming from White's lifelong embrace of existentialist humanism. Narratology, in Paul's view, achieved prominence in White's thinking because it offered a way to contest positivist history and thus unburden historians of their espousal of naïve realism and fantasies of objectivity."
Gabrielle M. Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University