Essays zu Leben und Wirken eines transnationalen Historikers - Essays on the Life and Work of a Transnational Historian
Edited By Martina Kaller, David Mayer and Berthold Molden
The essays collected in this volume are dedicated to the historian and Latin Americanist Friedrich Katz (1927-2010). They are based on a symposium held in his honour in Vienna in the autumn of 2011 and bring together varying perspectives of his life and work. As one of the great social historians of our time, Friedrich Katz had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sources relevant to Latin America’s twentieth century history. His studies of the Mexican Revolution rank foremost among contributions to the field. More than anyone before he succeeded in relating the specifics of Mexico’s history to the broader processes of global history. That same global history impacted repeatedly on Katz’ own life: he was forced to leave Vienna as a child and moved with his family to Mexico, via Berlin, Paris and New York; he returned to Vienna after 1945 only to leave again for East Berlin before finally settling in Chicago.
This book is the fruit of an afternoon devoted to Friedrich Katz’ life and work in the Wiener Vorlesungen series of lectures in October 2011. In the Senate Assembly Hall of Vienna’s Old Town Hall in the city centre the director of the Colegio de México, Javier Garciadiego, and the Viennese historians David Mayer and Berthold Molden each presented a paper and engaged in discussion with Martina Kaller and contemporary witnesses, who included Friedrich Katz’ daughter Jacqueline Ross. There was room for personal memories of the late expert in Mexican Studies and for a rough thumb sketch of the history of the discipline to indicate the rank Katz holds within it. Representatives of the City of Vienna, Mexico’s Embassy in Vienna and the University of Vienna together remembered one of the city’s “great sons”, who had met at least with as much rejection here as acceptance; this however did not prevent him from retaining a place in his heart of hearts for the city of his birth. This book represents a take by Viennese historians, which benefits from an additional Mexican perspective, on a great colleague who came from this city and chose not to return to it. It attempts to convey the contingencies and vicissi- tudes of an outstanding intellectual’s life that bears testimony to the key con- flicts of the twentieth century and was shaped in turn by the opportunities and decisions and the many successes and failures resulting from these conflicts. One of the great social...
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