Annales School  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
See also Documents (journal)

The Annales School is a school of historical writing named after the French scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale (first published in 1929 by Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre) where it was first expounded.

Annales school history is best known for its approach to history diametrically opposed to various then-current great man theories, incorporating social scientific methods into history which resulted in social histories such as history of mentalities and history from below. The Annales school critics influenced later thinkers like Michel Foucault, who, in turn, influenced other Annales thinkers such as American cultural historian Robert Darnton (The Literary Underground of the Old Regime) and the best-known exponent of this school: Fernand Braudel.

The Annalistes, especially Lucien Febvre, advocated a histoire totale, or histoire tout court, a complete study of a historic problem as described by Georges Duby in the foreword to Le dimanche de Bouvines. While several authors continue to carry the Annales banner, today the Annales approach has been less distinctive as more and more historians do work in cultural history and economic history.

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