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The Origins of European Individualism



The Origins of European Individualism

Aaron Gurevich

ISBN: 978-0-631-17963-4 November 1995 Wiley-Blackwell 292 Pages


The development of modern Europe, through such events as the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the rise of industrial capitalism, is often seen in terms of the triumph of individualism. Yet the precise stages in the evolution of the European individual remain one of the most elusive aspects of the region's history. In this broad and thought-provoking investigation, Aaron Gurevich, one of Russia's leading historians, examines the growth of individual consciousness through European history, and assesses its impact on key social and political events.
Series Editor's Preface.

1. The Individual is Ineffable.

2. The Individual and the Epic Tradition.

3. The 'Persona' in Search of the Individual.

4. Biography and Death.

5. Autobiography: Confession or Apologia?.

6. The Parable of the Five Talents.

7. Knights and Merchants.

8. Brother Salimbene and Others.

9. 'In this Madness there be Method'.

10. Dante and Petrarch.

11. The Historian in Search of the Individual.




  • Eastern Europe's foremost historian writes on the distinguishing characteristic of the West
  • Offers unusual perspective on a fascinating, yet under-researched aspect of European social and cultural history
  • Draws on a wide range of literary and cultural evidence.