The Morals of History

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U of Minnesota Press, 1995 - 228 pages
The celebrated theorist Tzvetan Todorov offers here a thought provoking study of the complex relationship between 'ethics' and 'history'. In exploring such issues as how one practices and assesses equality among different societies, Todorov confronts topics ranging from the conquest of America and nineteenth-century colonialism, to democracy and conflicts of the Self versus the Other.


1 Bulgaria in France
3 The Conquest as Seen by the Aztecs
The Conquest as Seen by the French 34 4 The Conquest as Seen by the French
The Journey and Its Narratives
Fictions and Truths
The Truth of Interpretations
Manipulation and Eloquence
Toleration and the Intolerable
Freedom in Letters
Democracy and Theocracy
The Debate on Values
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About the author (1995)

Tzvetan Todorov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria on March 1, 1939. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Sofia and then moved to France to pursue postgraduate work. He completed his doctorate at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in 1966 and he began teaching at the National Center for Scientific Research in 1968. In 1983, he helped found the Center for Arts and Language Research, involving scholars from both institutions. He was a literary theorist and historian. He wrote numerous books including The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other, On Human Diversity, Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps, A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War Summer 1944, The New World Disorder: Reflections of a European, and Fear of the Barbarians: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations. He died of multiple system atrophy, a progressive brain disorder, on February 7, 2017 at the age of 77.

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