A Note from Dr. Ernst Breisach


(October 2013)
Since my retirement in 1996, I have traveled on a small scale.  One of these travels, led me back to my home country Austria.   Most of my time was devoted to research in historiography.  A volume on Postmodernism in history  (The Future of History, 2003) published by University of Chicago Press. As expected the ultra-controversial topic evoked furious responses as well as glowing reviews (London Times).  Since then I have devoted all my research to the study of the role of time in human life and its history.  Despite the key role that time plays in the human existence few historians have studied the topic. I found it slow going but had pretty much finished my work of discovery and planning the outlay of the future book, when, in early January I was told that I have cancer. The University of Chicago Press, eager to get a 4th edition of my historiography book out, suggested to use my knowledge gained for writing a new concluding chapter on the globalization in historiography (including an outline of the problems of a global history and their solutions). That is what I am doing now. As a sideline, I continue my by now 30 year old role of book reviewer for the American Library Association (Choice magazine). Two reviews went out in August.   

Looking at my life, I am most grateful for having had the privilege to be given 90 years of life (8 October) 50 years of them I spent in teaching and trying to understand human history. (Reception attendees help Dr. Breisach celebrate his 90th birthday.)


The other segment of my life--the non-academic one--brought the death of my wife, Herma, after 66 years of marriage from Alzheimer disease. She had been a beloved member of the family she helped found. As for my life, I have benefited, especially in its recent rather turbulent period, from the sturdy support by my daughter Nora, my son Eric and his wife Tobi, and my present partner for life Gabriele Hahn.


Department of History
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