Passato e Presente
ISSN (printed): 1120-0650. ISSN (electronic): 1972-5493.
Among the many Italian journals dedicated to contemporary history, Past and Present (Passato e presente) stands out on account of several fundamental cultural choices it has made, choices which have ensured it success since its foundation in 1982. First of these choices was a refusal to adopt any ideological outlook - this manifests itself in the rigour of the research, in the journal's continuous tackling of the latest topics and methodologies to arise in international historiography, and in its severe take on the political use of history, a use which has been widely adopted by the mass media and which contributes to the creation of an uncritical 'communal sense'. Open to diverse historiographic approaches, the journal does not deny the inevitable subjectivity of judgement and, therefore, the civil commitment that distinguishes the historian from the purely erudite scholar. Another characteristic feature is the periodisation the journal has chosen. Past and Present seeks to respond to the reduction of contemporary history to the history of the 20th century, a tendency that is taking hold in schools and which risks becoming a simplification that rides roughshod over historic problems. The journal, however, identifies the roots of the contemporary world in the great economic, social, political and cultural processes that were set off at the end of the 18th century by the Industrial Revolution in England and the French Revolution. These cultural choices are also reflected in the rich articulation of features, which make Past and Present a 'constructed' journal at every level. The Editorial calls for a historical context to current issues and Discussions hosts an exchange between diverse voices on topics deemed relevant; Essays (Saggi) offers results of Italian and foreign research, while the Contemporary Historians (Storici contemporanei) section focuses on the relationship between the historian's work and the context in which he/she operates. Considerable space is also given to critiques of international production and the issue of how history is presented by the mass media and in exhibitions, and how it is produced for schools. The result is a journal which as well as boasting illustrious names is capable of speaking, through articles of varying importance and readability, to students, teachers and a wider audience of history enthusiasts.
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