2011년 5월 5일 목요일

[자료] Fernand Braudel, Historian

자료: http://abuss.narod.ru/Biblio/eng/mcneil_braudel.htm
지은이: McNeill, William H.
출처: Journal of Modern History, March 2001, Vol. 73, Issue 1. p. 133. (14 pages)

※ Below is a reading note of this reader, with some personal annotations or remarks added, in trying to understand the above text. So visit the links above to see the original.

* * *

When he died in 1985, Fernand Braudel was undoubtedly the world's most influential academic historian. His reputation was founded on a magnificent eleven-hundred-page book published in 1949 entitled La Mediterranee et le monde mediterraneen a l'epoque de Philippe II. His eminence was subsequently consolidated by editorship (1956-68) of an influential journal, entitled Annales: Economies, societes, civilisations, and by his presidency (1956-72) of the Sixieme Section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, where a vigorous group of young historians gathered around him to form a distinctive "Annales school."

Despite accumulating administrative duties, Braudel found time for substantial revision of his famous book. Accordingly, a second edition of The Mediterranean came out in 1966, significantly reshaped by new queries and hypotheses and adorned by maps, charts, and illustrations that had been absent from the first printing. Simultaneously, he worked toward a world history, published in preliminary form in 1967 as Civilisation materielle et capitalisme, XVe-XVIIIe siecle. Then in his old age Braudel launched, but failed to complete, another lengthy history, this time of France. Its first sections appeared posthumously in 1986 as L'Identite de la France, in three stout volumes.

Braudel also wrote a textbook for French secondary schools, entitled Grammaire des civilisations (1963). It surveyed the world, civilization by civilization, and was designed to broaden and modernize the teaching of history in French schools. This reform, officially undertaken very largely in response to Braudel's personal initiative, provoked vigorous opposition from teachers and was swiftly abandoned. As a result, his textbook died aboming and can safely be disregarded in trying to assess his achievement as a historian. He also wrote numerous articles and left other miscellaneous writings when he died, but the two massive works he carried to completion, which I will refer to as The Mediterranean and Civilization and Capitalism, for short, were what most mattered. Let me therefore concentrate mainly on them.

Oddly, when he already appeared to outsiders as the dominant figure among French historians, in his own opinion Braudel remained marginal, excluded from full participation in the University of Paris by old-fashioned historians who emphasized political events and personalities and felt that much of what Braudel investigated--what he referred to as "la longue durée"--was human geography rather than history. "I, too, was excluded from the Sorbonne in 1947," he wrote in 1976. "When I defended my thesis that year, one of the judges suavely said to me: 'You are a geographer: let me be the historian.' "[1]

His long-standing grievance against the historical establishment of the Sorbonne presumably pricked him on to work harder and prove how wrong they were. But, ironically, after the student uprising of 1968, when Braudel did at long last become fully incorporated into the degree-granting university establishment of Paris, he immediately became a target for younger historians. Many of them were trained in the Annales tradition, but, perhaps for that very reason, they speedily set out, in their turn, to assert their own intellectual autonomy by rejecting all or part of Braudel's style of history.

Generational friction among historians and other professional academics may have been unusually acute in France, but the phenomenon is universal. What was unusual about Braudel's career as a historian was the way the detailed attention he lavished on the longue durée recorded and reflected the transformation that France itself went through during his lifetime, changing from an imperial nation with a majority of citizens still living as tradition-bound peasants into a people whose outlook was thoroughly urbanized (no matter where they resided) and whose national identity and sovereign destiny was confused and challenged by an emerging European community and by a swarm of immigrants from North Africa and other parts of the former empire, who fitted awkwardly into French society.

Braudel experienced this transformation vividly and in person. He later declared that his mature approach to history had been profoundly affected by childhood recollections from the village of Lumeville, located in the department of Meuse not far from Verdun in northeastern France. He was born there in 1902, and, even though his father was teaching at a secondary school in Paris, the young Fernand spent his first seven years (and vacations until the age of twenty) in Lumeville with his maternal grandmother, living there in much the same fashion as his peasant ancestors had done for centuries.

He could thus affirm: "I was at the beginning and I remain now an historian of peasant stock. I could name the plants and trees of this village of eastern France: I knew each of its inhabitants: I watched them at work: the blacksmith, the cartwright, the occasional woodcutters, the 'bouquillons.' I observed the yearly rotation of crops on the village lands which today produce nothing but grass for grazing herds. I watched the turning wheel on the old mill, which was, I believe, built long ago for the local lord by an ancestor of mine. And because all this countryside of eastern France is full of military recollections, I was, through my family, a child at Napoleon's side at Austerlitz, at the Berezina."[2]

He dedicated his last book, L'Identite de la France, to his grandmother and begins it with the proud words: "I say once and for all: I love France with the same passion, demanding and complicated, as Jules Michelet."[3] The France Braudel loved was the France of his childhood: a pastiche of villages and small towns where habitual routines conformed to dictates of soil and climate, where face-to-face dealings were "honest" in the sense that both parties knew the customary price to be paid for goods and services, and everyone knew what to expect from him-or herself as well. It was a world almost totally comprehensible and wholly right in the eyes of an alert boy of six or seven, who, under his
grandmother's loving care, watched the seasons pass and came to understand how and why his elders adjusted their activities accordingly.

Fond recollections of Lumeville undoubtedly provided the inspiration for the longue durée that Braudel investigated so lovingly and lengthily in The Mediterranean and in The Structures of Everyday Life, which constituted the first volume of the final version of Civilization and Capitalism. Lumeville, in short, provoked Braudel's most successful innovation in the writing of history: his insistence on the basic importance of geographically variegated everyday custom and almost unconscious routines, which, he claimed, set limits to all deliberate effort, whether in matters economic, political, or military. And just because the variety of local custom was disappearing so rapidly from rural France between the two world wars, the French reading public was prepared to relish Braudel's detailed descriptions and emphasis on the past importance of this vanishing world.

But the future historian did not remain a simple villager beyond his seventh year, and Braudel's mature way of writing history, which paid more attention to towns, trade, and finance than to agriculture, reflected his urban upbringing. His urban life began in 1909, when he started formal schooling, residing with his parents in Paris. In primary school he encountered "a superb teacher, a man who was intelligent, considerate, authoritarian, and who recited the history of France as though he were celebrating Mass." Subsequently, he lived through World War I as a student at the Lycee Voltaire (1913-20), where he studied Latin and Greek, "adored history," wrote "too much poetry," and, he later declared, "got a very good education." On graduation, "I wanted to be a doctor, but my father opposed this insufficiently motivated career, and I found myself disoriented in that year 1920, which was for me a sad one. In the end I entered the Sorbonne as a student of history. I graduated without difficulty, but also without much real enjoyment. I had the feeling I was frittering away my life, having chosen the easy way out. My vocation as an historian did not come to me until later."[4]

In 1923 he began teaching history in Algeria, first at a lycee in Constantine and then, after a year, in Algiers itself. He continued to teach there until 1932, except for a period of military service, 1925-26, which he spent in the German Rhineland as part of the French army of occupation. The history he taught was what the French state required: a sort of history he later disparaged because it dealt only with superficial political and military events. Yet he was conscientious in doing his duty and indeed claims to have emerged from the Sorbonne with thoroughly conventional views, having focused his attention, like "all leftist students of the time," on the French Revolution of 1789.

Although he was not enthused nor deeply committed to history, as thus conceived, he was ambitious enough to wish for a university career. This required him to write a thesis on the basis of primary sources and on a scale that would qualify him for a doctorate. After considering and then deciding that his "overly French sentiments" made investigating German history unwise, he turned instead to France's older rival, proposing to write on Philip II, Spain, and the Mediterranean. His teachers approved readily enough, and Braudel accordingly began work in Spanish archives at Simancas during his summer vacation in 1927.

For an intensely patriotic Frenchman to choose Spanish history was itself surprising. Residing, as he did, in Algiers, on the opposite shore of the Mediterranean, Braudel had begun to contemplate France from a distance, and his thesis soon turned into an act of audacity, provoking him to explore far wider horizons than those set by the national frame within which historians usually confined themselves. Indeed, an omnivorous curiosity was one of Braudel's enduring traits. In the end, nothing short of the whole wide world satisfied him.

Accordingly, he did not long remain content with Simancas but proceeded in subsequent years to investigate other Mediterranean archives, even in places as far afield as Dubrovnik, on the Yugoslav coast. It was here, he remarks, where Ottoman and Christian frontiers abutted on one another, that in 1934 "for the first time I saw the Mediterranean of the sixteenth century" in its everyday, mercantile aspect, revealed by detailed records of "ships, bills of lading, trade goods, insurance rates, business deals."[5]

A thesis entirely at odds with the expectations of his Sorbonne professors thus began to take shape in Braudel's mind and in the voluminous notes he accumulated from the archives he consulted. But for a long time he remained unsure of where he was going. Energetic researches collected a myriad of details about the half century of Mediterranean history when King Philip's government in Spain struggled against the Ottoman sultans for domination of that sea, while transoceanic conquests and commerce began to shift the principal centers of European economic and political power from Mediterranean to Atlantic
Europe. Little by little a vast human panorama emerged for Braudel's inspection, and fundamental questions about the course of European and world history began to stir in his fertile imagination. But the more he discovered, the more there was to inquire into in archives yet untapped.

No wonder, then, "that among my friends and colleagues it was reported that I would never finish this very ambitious work"--even though he never ventured into the vast Ottoman archives and only used west European languages. Nonetheless, his appetite for detail was insatiable, and from the very beginning he discovered how to escape the limits of vacation-time research by using a secondhand movie camera to photograph thousands of documents each day he was able to spend in the archives. "I was," he says, "undoubtedly the first user of tree microfilms, which I developed myself and later read, through long days and nights, with a simple magic lantern."[6]

Not only he, for his wife, Paule, whom he first met as a student in one of his Algerian lycee classes, also became an assiduous and skillful reader of the endless rolls of microfilm they accumulated. They worked together, each selecting archival materials to be filmed. Afterward, during evenings and weekends of the school year, one read aloud from the films while the other took notes. To reduce eye strain, they shifted roles from time to time. Braudel then summarized their findings in a hurried scrawl, and his wife typed the result. And in spare time, discussion back and forth helped to clarify Braudel's emerging understanding of his subject. Their combined effort thus digested vast masses of material in a way a single person could not possibly have done. Mme Braudel, however, kept herself very much in the background, and in later years tended her husband's fame and influence more assiduously than he did himself. She, for example, was the person who persuaded him to write the "Personal Testimony" from which I draw most of my information about his career, and after his death she continued to prepare volumes of his miscellaneous writings for publication.

In 1932, Braudel left Algiers for a teaching post at a lycee in Paris. This allowed him to meet Lucien Febvre, who was destined to play a critical role in shaping his subsequent career. Their encounters were only casual at first. Febvre (1878-1956) was a pugnacious, would-be reformer of French historiography. In particular, in 1929, he and Marc Bloch co-founded and edited an innovative historical journal, Annales d'histoire economiques, that sought to transcend mere war and politics by embracing all aspects of human experience in what Febvre eventually came to call "total" history. Bloch, who served in the French Resistance, was caught and killed by the Nazis in 1944, whereas Febvre survived the war quietly in Paris. Then in 1946, with the help of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, he reorganized the journal and gave it a new title: Annales: Economies, societes, civilisations.

By proclaiming the importance of social and economic history and provoking innumerable heated debates about how best to approach the past, Febvre and Bloch inaugurated the "Annales school" in 1929. After the war, Febvre expanded the imperial claims of his style of total history, arguing that all the human sciences were inescapably historical, so that only suitably trained historians could hope to unite them scientifically. Then, when Febvre died in 1956, Braudel inherited Febvre's position as editor, and in the ensuing twelve years brought the Annales school to the peak of its influence.

From their initial encounters in the early 1930s, Febvre encouraged Braudel to broaden the scope of his thesis researches, but the two men remained only distant acquaintances until 1937. By then Braudel had spent three memorable years teaching a general course in the history of civilization at the newly established university in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and was returning to France to take up a new appointment at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. By chance, he sailed on a ship that was also carrying Lucien Febvre home from lectures in Buenos Aires. "Those twenty days of the ocean crossing were, for Lucien Febvre, my wife, and me, twenty days of happy conversation and laughter. It was then that I became more than a companion to Lucien Febvre--a little like a son: his house in the Juras at Souget became my house, his children my children,"[7] And it was there, in Febvre's house in the Juras, that Braudel wrote the first pages of his great book in the summer of 1939, only to be interrupted by call-up for service in the French army just before World War II broke out in September.

Braudel's war, like that of France as a whole, was brief and inglorious. He was captured by the victorious Nazis in 1940 and after two years of detention at Mainz found himself assigned to a special camp for unruly captives located near Lubeck, on the bleak Baltic coast. He remained there from 1942 until 1945, yet it was under these harsh conditions that Braudel resumed work on his projected thesis. As a result, he actually wrote three successive drafts of The Mediterranean, immured initially within the citadel of Mainz and then on the shores of the Baltic. Here is what he had to say about this amazing feat: 
It was in captivity that I wrote that enormous work, sending school copy book after school copy book to Lucien Febvre. Only my memory permitted this tour de force. Had it not been for my imprisonment, I would surely have written a much different book. ... Yes, I contemplated the Mediterranean, tete a tete, for years on end, far though it was from me in space and time. And my vision of history took on its definitive form without my being entirely aware of it, partly as a direct intellectual response to a spectacle--the Mediterranean--which no traditional historical account seemed to me capable of encompassing, and partly as a direct existential response to the tragic times I was passing through. ... All those occurrences which poured in upon us from the radio. ... I had to out distance, reject, deny them. Down with occurrences, especially vexing ones! I had to believe that history, destiny was written at a much more profound level. Choosing a long time scale to observe from was choosing the position of God the Father himself as a refuge. Far removed from our persons and daily misery, history was being made, shifting slowly as the ancient life of the Mediterranean, whose perdurability and majestic immobility had often moved me. So it was that I consciously set forth in search of an historical language--the most profound I could grasp or invent--in order to present unchanging (or very slowly changing) conditions which stubbornly assert themselves over and over again. And my book is organized on several different temporal scales, moving from the unchanging to the fleeting occurrence. For me, even today, these are the lines that delimit and give form to every historical landscape.[8: Braudel, "Personal Testimony"]
These remarkable words describe an amazing achievement, even though they glide over a long process of checking the text as it emerged from the POW camp against the notes that the Braudels had accumulated before the war. Those notes spent the war in the basement of their house in Paris, hidden in a metal container to preserve them from bomb damage. After his release in 1945, therefore, he and his wife spent almost two years editing the array of school copybooks Lucien Febvre had received from the German prison camp until, in 1947, Braudel was ready to defend his thesis at the Sorbonne. Two more years passed before the thesis, in polished and perfected form, was finally published in 1949.

But it remains true that this vast and impressive work took form in a POW camp under Baltic skies. Very likely, without Braudel's apparently crippling, but actually liberating, separation from the tangled mass of his notes and supporting documentation, he might not have been able to write about the Mediterranean by, as he says, "choosing the position of God." In particular, his unique concept of different timescales for changeable human behavior, operating simultaneously within the same geographical space, might never have emerged.

This odd and logically dubious organizing device became second only to his wide-ranging curiosity as the distinctive characteristic of Braudel's approach to writing history. It was seldom imitated by others, and Braudel himself encountered logical difficulties, especially in dealing with an intermediate temporal rhythm, referred to as conjoncture in the second edition of The Mediterranean, but which had no name and no distinct presence in the first edition. Braudel says he borrowed the term conjoncture and a closely associated word, structure, from French economists, but he was never completely comfortable with the result, as he made clear when he introduced part 2, "Collective Destinies and Trends," in the revised edition of The Mediterranean as follows
This second book has, in fact, to meet two contradictory purposes. It is concerned with social structures, that is with mechanisms that withstand the march of time; it is also concerned with the development of those structures. It combines therefore what have come to be known as structure and conjoncture, the permanent and the ephemeral, the slow moving and the fast. These two aspects of reality, as economists are well awareㅡindeed it is to them that we owe the original distinctionㅡare always present in everyday life, which is a constant blend of what changes and what endures
But it will not be easy to convey this complex spectacle in a single attempt. The chapters that follow share the task among them, tackling in turn the problems relating to economic systems, states, societies, civilizations, the indispensable instruments of exchange, and lastly the different forms of war. But the reader should not be misled. They are all contributions towards a unique, comprehensive view of the subject, impossible to achieve from any one vantage point. These subsequent subdivisions are both convenient and necessary. They may not altogether satisfy the intellect, but any schema is of value as long as it allows for the best possible explanation with a minimum of repetition.[9: The Mediterranean, 1: 353-354]
Thus Braudel split time, the historian's indispensable guide, into logic-defying trinityㅡlongue durée, conjoncture, événementto justify the sequence of themes developed in successive parts of the book, even though it did not "altogether satisfy" his own intellect nor fit smoothly into the fascinating variety of themes his chapters explored. After all, the book was based, initially, on a vast and miscellaneous assemblage of notes. "It was my original idea, in the first edition of this book, that the many dimensions of the Mediterranean in the sixteenth century should be suggested through a series of examples, by selecting certain important and indicative details. ... But this would mean leaving enormous blank spaces between the specks of color; at best it would only give an impressionistic notion of the distance that separates our world from that of the sixteenth century. Today [in 1966, when the second edition came out] on the other hand, I am more attracted towards the language of what economists call 'national accounting.'"[10]

Braudel, in short, found himself torn between the generalizing language of economics, which he believed to be "the most scientific of the sciences of man,"[11] and the confusing variety of everyday life as revealed in the archives he had consulted. Like his mentor, Lucien Febvre, Braudel was a convinced partisan of the notion that history was "a very imperfect science, but a science," even though historians had to rely on "language of an old craft that must be formed close down to earth" and depended on details and more details.[12] "But is it not a good thing," he declared when lecturing in the United States in 1976, "for history to be first of all a description, a plain observation, a classification without too many previously held ideas? To see and to show is half the historian's task."[13: 1976 존스홉킨스대학 강연에서(자본주의의 동학)] The other half, presumably, was to be scientific and systematic, seeking to find enduring structures and borrowing economists' terms or those of other human sciences whenever convenient.

Braudel always remained tentative in trying to reshape the amorphous multiplicity of history into a generalizing science. But while revising The Mediterranean between 1949 and 1966 he did convince himself that economists' terms were uniquely powerful, with the result that [:]
... nowadays we have two fairly well established "chains" to choose from, one built by the research of the last twenty to thirty years--the chain of economic events and their short-term conjunctures; the other catalogued over the ages--the chain of political events in the wide sense, wars, diplomatic treaties, decisions and domestic upheavals. It is this second chain which, to the eyes of contemporary observers, took precedence over any other series of happenings ...
For us there will always be two chains--not one. So even in the realm of traditional history it would be difficult to tread exactly in Ranke's footsteps. In turn, we should beware of assuming that these two chains preclude the existence of others, or in falling into the trap of naively assuming that one can explain the other, when even now we can guess at further possible chains composed of data from social and cultural history and even from collective psychology.[14: The Mediterranean, 2: 902]
Braudel's approach to history thus remained open-ended, comprising an ever-broadening array of questions whose answers were tentative at best. This, in fact, was what made the Annales under Braudel's editorship so attractive to ambitious young historians. Anyone with a new question was welcome in the journal's pages. New themes and widely discordant approaches to the past thus proliferated under Braudel's benign editorial jurisdiction, reflecting his own limitless curiosity and open-mindedness.

Yet the revision of The Mediterranean, and all his efforts to make history a more perfect science (often by venturing into hypothetical quantification), fell short of his hopes and regularly provoked him to call for further research to test his guesses and preliminary calculations. Braudel, in effect, found himself with a collection of learned, delightful chapters on his hands, each fascinating in itself but only slenderly connected with what went before or followed after.

His technique in the first edition had resembled that of the pointillist painters of the nineteenth century who used innumerable separate dots of paint to depict everyday scenes, relying on the eye of the beholder to blend them together into a comprehensible whole. And for innumerable readers, Braudel's technique worked wonderfully well, conveying a vivid, convincing sense of what life in the lands of the Mediterranean had actually been like in the sixteenth century.

By comparison, the efforts he made to fit his magnificent, multicolored portrait of Mediterranean life in the sixteenth century into a scientific straitjacket, conceived along economistic lines, were disappointing. It was like trying to put a saddle on a cow, hoping to ride off into the sunset and discover scientific truth about the past. Yet his quixotic attempt to reduce history to quantified economics is also admirable in its own way, for it speaks to a deep human desire to make whatever happens meaningful. Braudel himself was never sure that the conjonctures he explored told the truth, much less the whole truth. He saw himself as a pioneer, whose hunches and tentative formulations would have to be corrected and replaced by subsequent more detailed and precise quantifiers. And he never entirely forgot that other lines of inquiry--evolving mentalités, for example, which Lucien Febvre had turned to in his later years--might be needed to supplement the merely
economic measurements on which he focused most of his own effort.

An obvious--and deliberate--deficiency of The Mediterranean was the rather perfunctory treatment of political affairs in the final part of the book. This was, for Braudel, a way of proclaiming how superficial, even trivial, were the preoccupations of his academic rivals. Yet in his eagerness to make the shortcomings of merely political historians apparent, Braudel introduced a larger and damaging structural incoherence into his book. For the conjonctures and structures of economic life, set forth in the middle sections of the revised edition, dangle entirely unconnected to the political structures and changes of part 3, and both of these 'chains' of happenings remained unrelated to the (ostensibly unchanging) geographical longue durée so skillfully set forth in the first 350 pages.

As a result, the first edition of The Mediterranean was, I believe, a greater literary masterpiece than the second, but the intellectual foundations of both editions were seriously flawed. For in addition to the problem of how to understand the interactions of structure and process on three different timescales, Braudel chose to neglect dimensions of his subject that most historians regard as essential. In particular, he had almost nothing to say about religion or about other intellectual ideas or currents of opinion. Yet the age of Philip II (reigned 1556-98) was when the clash of Protestants and Catholics assumed a new intensity throughout Europe, competing with and often outweighing the long-standing clash between Christians and Muslims in the Mediterranean and eastern Europe. Were the longue durée, economic conjoncture, and the decisions and acts of the Ottoman and Spanish governments unaffected by the religious controversies of the age? It seems unlikely, but this is what Braudel's pages imply without saying so explicitly.

Braudel was not explicitly anticlerical, as Lucien Febvre and many other Frenchmen of an older generation had been. His father was an unbeliever, so Braudel had been brought up without any direct exposure to Catholicism or any other sort of religion. Then during his imprisonment in Germany he had occasion to discuss religion with some of his fellow captives, including a few Catholic clerics who became his friends. But he found himself incapable of sharing (or, perhaps, achieving) any sort of personal religious experience and subsequently decided that, being tone deaf to religion and religiosity, he had best say nothing about it, no matter how prominent such controversies had been at the time.

He was fascinated instead by routines of everyday work and economic exchanges. Bringing these back to life in all their concreteness was what mattered most to him. That was where human reality was to be found. Abstract ideas, political plans, and religious aspirations all were superficial by comparison. His goal was to discover the firm, material foundation of human society, letting others explore the more transitory and trivial dimensions of the past if they so wished.

Thus, when revising The Mediterranean, Braudel considered omitting politics and the person of Philip II entirely, but in the end he decided, rather reluctantly, to retain the political narrative that had been required of him by the expectations of the professors who approved his thesis. But, amazingly, Braudel only got round to mentioning the individuality and mind of Philip II on the very last page of his narrative and did so only to dismiss him because "he was not a man of vision: he saw his task as an unending succession of small details. ... Never do we find general notions or grand strategies under his pen."[15] The religious anxieties and beliefs that shaped a great deal of King Philip's daily life and conscious behavior do not appear at all.

Braudel was aware of the oddity of such a vision of the past and added a brief conclusion in 1965 to justify how he had shaped his book. Here, then, are the very last words of the second edition: "So when I think of the individual, I am always inclined to see him imprisoned within a destiny in which he himself has little hand. ... In historical analysis as I see it, rightly or wrongly, the long run always wins in the end. ... I am by temperament a 'structuralist,' little tempted by the event, or even by the short run conjuncture. But the historian's 'structuralism' ... does not tend to mathematical abstraction ... but instead towards the very sources of life in its most concrete, everyday, indestructible and anonymously human expression."[16]

Braudel did indeed portray concrete, everyday, and anonymous human life in Mediterranean landscapes as no one had done before him, and this remains the lasting, distinctive achievement of his greatest book. By comparison, when he turned away from the Mediterranean landscape he knew so well and addressed himself to the wider world, some of the sureness of touch that made his pointillist technique so effective deserted him. Consequently, although Civilization and Capitalism introduced a new tripartite principle for historical analysis and contains many instructive and convincing passages, especially those dealing with Europe, it remains inferior to its predecessor. Regrettably, Braudel knew too little about Chinese and other non-European peoples to pick out key details unerringly, as he had done in The Mediterranean, and since he relied entirely on European sources, the rich grounding in local archives that had sustained his earlier book was also missing.

Civilization and Capitalism was initially conceived in 1950 as part of a series, Destins du monde, edited by Lucien Febvre. It was designed to serve as a companion piece to a book by Febvre himself, tentatively entitled Western Thought and Belief, 1400-1800. But Febvre died in 1956 without leaving a publishable manuscript, thus compelling Braudel's deliberately lopsided work to stand alone. This invited Braudel to indulge his interest in details of everyday material life and his predilection for economic history afresh, and it excused, more plausibly than before, his indifference to art, science, and religion--or politics.

The initial version, published in 1967, was designed for general readers and lacked footnotes. This did not satisfy Braudel for very long. A wider vision of the human condition in modern times had begun to dawn on him, so he proceeded to revise and expand his study of the global economy between 1400 and 1800, reissuing the publication of 1967 in 1979 as the first volume of three, with a new title and a set of laboriously reconstituted footnotes based on elliptical notations he had made when preparing the first version. He dedicated that volume to "Paule Braudel, who has dedicated herself to this book." Presumably it was she who was mainly responsible for reconstituting the footnotes, and it was she with whom he talked over all his emerging ideas and hypotheses, testing them out in what she subsequently described as "a kind of intellectual game."[17]

Braudel's new master idea for organizing Civilization and Capitalism depended on drawing a sharp distinction between capitalism and what he called “market economies.” He was aware of how unfamiliar such a dichotomy was in the United States, and took the occasion of lectures at Johns Hopkins University in 1976{자본주의의 동학} to formulate his argument concisely, declaring that "markets are found everywhere, even in the most elementary societies," and that "even more complicated and developed societies are literally riddled with small markets."[18] But, according to Braudel[:]
European capitalism brought a different, predatory sort of economic system to the fore, featuring unequal exchanges (1) in which competitionㅡthe basic law of the market economyㅡhad little place and (2) in which the dealer had two trump cards: he had broken off relations between producer and the person who eventually received the merchandise (only the dealer knew the market conditions at both ends of the chain and hence the profits to be expected), and he had ready cash which served as his chief ally. ... Now the longer these chains became, the more successful they are at freeing themselves from the usual regulations and controls and the more clearly the capitalistic process emerges.
His argument continues:
These men knew a thousand ways of rigging the odds in their favor. ... They possessed superior knowledge, intelligence and culture. And around them they grabbed up everything worth taking--land, real estate, rents. Who can doubt that these capitalists had monopolies at their disposal, or that they simply had power to eliminate competition nine times out of ten? 
And he concludes:
Let me summarize: There are two types of exchange; one is down to earth, is based on competition, and is almost transparent; the other, a higher form, is sophisticated and domineering.[19: 《자본주의의 동학》 중에서] 
Braudel's words, as quoted above, reveal strong personal feelings.[:]

  • He liked and admired the "market economy" almost as much as he delighted in portraying the everyday routines of material life. Here was his down-to-earth human reality. 
  • No less emphatically, he disliked capitalists for taking unfair advantage of ordinary people, thanks to their monopoly of ready cash and information about prices and credit in distant places
  • And as a French patriot he also felt that his country had been left behind, first by Italian and then by Dutch and English capitalists. As a result, the rural and small-town France where he had spent his early childhood had been "seized, remodeled, reduced to inferiority by the capitalist economy that established itself in Europe after the sixteenth century."[20:  Braudel, L'Identite de la France]
Yet Braudel's distinction between capitalism and market economies remains unconvincing to me. After all, competition often exists among capitalists too, and local markets are not always transparent and competitive, either. In describing market economies Braudel was surely thinking of the style of life he had known as a child in Lumeville, where buyers and sellers usually met on very even terms. But that sort of local society was not universal. In Polish and Russian villages, for example, when Braudel was growing up, no such equality of buyers and sellers prevailed. Instead, a local tavern keeper, licensed as often as not by a great landlord, commonly enjoyed effective local monopoly. In other frontier societies, whether in the Americas or Australia, local monopolies also prevailed, simply because transportation and communication networks were too slender to permit effective local competition.

Braudel's predatory capitalism therefore seems to me to be a transitory phenomenon, depending on monopolies that disappear when transport and communication catch up with market demand, only to reappear when new technologies introduce new, evanescent monopolies. As a case in point, consider the advantages enjoyed by Bill Gates and his like arising out of the computer revolution of our time, whereas the industrial monopolies of eighteenth-century England, featuring machine-made textiles, have long since given way to cutthroat competition in the production of cotton and other kinds of cloth.

Hence, Braudel's effort to structure economic affairs in Civilization and Capitalism around (1)an almost unchanging material life, which underlay both (2)local market economies, where conjoncture was the principal disturber of everyday routines, and (3) an emergent, more global style of capitalist exploitation strikes me as intellectually unsatisfactory--a defect quite as serious as his failure to articulate connections between the three levels of time he employed to organize The Mediterranean. Yet he was never dogmatic, and he always recognized that his organizing ideas were tentative, since "a work of history ... can never claim to be complete, to have told the truth for once and for all."[21]

More generally, "scientific," abstract generalizations were not his forte. Braudel's great strength was always literary, and his attainments as a writer were fittingly recognized in 1984, just a year before he died, by his election to the Academie Francaise--making him, officially, an immortal. He certainly wrote elegant, sometimes informal, always discursive and vastly learned histories, enlivened by details and informed by a quizzical, endlessly curious mind, while persistently seeking structures to explain the past, even though he was always unable to convince himself that he had in fact found the truth.

This is a fine, time-tested recipe for writing history. For Braudel's literary art, combining vast learning and sustained research with lively exposition of everything that interested him exactly replicates the classical "inquiries" of Herodotus from which the European historiographical tradition descends. Braudel was, indeed, a far more faithful follower of Herodotus than any other historian of our age.

Braudel's truly exceptional literary skill was reinforced by two features of his inquiries that seem likely to become landmarks of future historiography throughout the world. First is the emphasis he put on the overriding importance of circumstances and processes of which contemporaries were quite unconscious. This means that the most meticulous transcription of contemporary sources no longer can pretend to be an adequate account of times past, as the political historians, against whom Braudel revolted so vigorously in his youth, had tended to assume. Conscious purposes were not enough: processes--longue duree, conjoncture, and who knows what else?--defeated even the most careful human plans. Of course, everyone has always noticed that intentions and experience never quite coincide. Traditional explanations attributed such discrepancies to powerful spirits, or to Fortune, Chance, or God's hidden purposes. Braudel was not content with such answers, even though the structures and conjonctures he offered as partial explanations never satisfied him either.

A large company of Braudel's contemporaries among academic historians also looked behind conscious, recorded purposes in search of intellectually intelligible processes shaping the past. No consensus has emerged, but the effort is unlikely to be given up. Through his own books and as leader of the post-World War II generation of French historians of the Annales school, Braudel played a central role in shifting professional attention from what the dead had said and done-deliberately and consciously--to unintended, collective processes that their behavior set in motion. This, it seems to me, is the central departure from older views that affected the historical profession after World War II. Braudel played a conspicuous role in forwarding this change, and his enduring influence will probably rest on that simple fact.

A second feature of Braudel's accomplishment was the worldwide vision of the past that he embraced. His reach for far horizons was already evident in The Mediterranean, where he explored the (quite literally) global rivalries of the Spanish and Ottoman governments, while seeing the Sahara less as a barrier than as a navigable sea of sand connecting Mediterranean and African peoples. Braudel's globalism became explicit in Civilization and Capitalism, even though he was far more familiar with the European scene than with other parts of the earth and always remained quintessentially French in taste and outlook.

World history, too, is a growing field of inquiry, though it has yet to achieve full respectability among academic historians, whether in France or elsewhere. Nonetheless, Braudel's venture into global history ranks among the most impressive demonstrations yet conceived and carried through of how a single author can create an elegant, intelligible portrait of several centuries of the world's history.

These achievements, together with the array of Annalistes that Braudel helped to train, assure him of a leading place among historians of the twentieth century. Moreover, his literary skill and his energetic inquiry into how ordinary people lived seem likely to assure long-enduring interest in what he wrote. Braudel, in short, was an authentic heir of Herodotus and deserves his reputation as the most influential historian of his time, despite the defects of his (Thucydidean) efforts to reduce the multifarious variety of human affairs to the constraints of generalizing science.

1. Fernand Braudel, foreword to French Historical Method: The Annales Paradigm, by Traian Stoianovich (Ithaca, N.Y., 1976), p. 15.
2. Fernand Braudel, "Personal Testimony," Journal of Modern History 44 (December 1972): 448-49.
3. Fernand Braudel, L'ldentite de la France, 3 vols. (Paris, 1986), my translation. Jules Michelet (1798-1874) wrote a multivolume History of France, whose literary power and anticlerical, nationalistic fervor did much to shape French republicanism between 1871 and 1914.
4. Braudel, "Personal Testimony," p. 449.
5. Ibid., p. 452. Quotations in the preceeding paragraphs also derive from this brief text.
6. Ibid., pp. 451-52.
7. Ibid., p. 453.
8. Ibid., pp. 453-54.
9. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, trans. Sian Reynolds, 2 vols. (Berkeley, Calif., 1995), 1:353-54.
10. Ibid., 1:419-20.
11. Braudel, L'Identite de la France, 1:19.
12. Ibid., p. 9. For the quotation regarding historians, see Braudel, foreword to Stoianovich (n. 1 above), p. 17.
13. Fernand Braudel, Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism, trans. Patricia M. Ranum (Baltimore, 1977), pp. 20-21.
14. Braudel, The Mediterranean, 2:902.
15. Ibid., 2:1236.
16. Ibid., 2:1244.
17. Paule Braudel, personal communication, April 1999.
18. Braudel, Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism, p. 30.
19. Ibid., pp. 53, 57, 62.
20. Braudel, L'Identite de la France, p. 20, my translation.
21. Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, trans. Sign Reynolds, 3 vols. (Berkeley, Calif., 1992), 3:619

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