Alf Lüdtke, a citizen historian

The work and ideas of Alf Lüdtke
By Sandrine Kott

The introduction to this issue’s dossier “The Work and Ideas of Alf Lüdtke” has a twofold objective. It situates Alf Lüdtke’s work in the historiographical and political context of Germany in the 1980s and 1990s, and emphasises that the methodological choices that presided over his work are part of a civic practice of history in a country haunted by its Nazi past. Simultaneously, he looks at the importance given to Alf Lüdtke’s work when it was published in France, as well as how this work resonated with various currents in French social sciences, ranging from the history of mentalities to the social history of relations of domination.

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