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The Poverty of ClioResurrecting Economic History$
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Francesco Boldizzoni

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144009

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144009.001.0001

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Truth on the Cross

Truth on the Cross

Science and Ideology

(p.1) Chapter 1 Truth on the Cross
The Poverty of Clio

Francesco Boldizzoni

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the roots of economic history. It then turns to the identity crisis faced by economic history today, brought about by the development of a movement founded in the United States at the end of the 1950s known as “new economic history” or “cliometrics.” History is normally expected to improve our understanding of the past. It is probably agreed that what distinguishes good historical research is its capacity to throw light on the workings of societies that differ to varying degrees from our own. However, the aim of cliometrics is not to increase our knowledge of the past. It is to create narratives of the past compatible with neoliberal economics, and often it is a highly ideological exercise to endorse specific worldviews, theories, and policy recommendations.

Keywords:   cliometrics, economic history, neoliberal economics, worldviews, policy recommendations

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