American historian, Hayden White, Died at 89

Hayden White was born on July 12, 1928, and died on March 5, 2018.

He was a historian in the tradition of literary criticism.

He received his B.A. from Wayne State University (1951) and his M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1955) degrees from the University of Michigan.

He was most famous for his work Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1973/2014).

White claimed that the manifest historical text is marked by strategies of explanation, which include explanation by argument, explanation by employment, and explanation by ideological implication.

White argued that historical writing was influenced by literary writing in many ways, sharing the strong reliance on narrative for meaning, therefore eliminating the possibility of objective or truly scientific history.

He also argued, that history is most successful when it uses this “narrativity”, since it is what allows history to be meaningful.

White ended his career as University Professor Emeritus at the history of consciousness department of the University of California, Santa Cruz, having previously retired from the comparative literature department of Stanford University.

He died at 89 year old.