Cover: Driving Forces in History, from Harvard University PressCover: Driving Forces in History in E-DITION

Driving Forces in History

Halvdan Koht

Translated by Einar Haugen

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674189430

Publication Date: 01/01/1964

217 pages

Belknap Press


Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

This remarkable book, exhibiting an unusual catholicity of interest and an almost universal range of knowledge and insight, is the culmination of a lifelong study of the forces that have shaped and directed human experience. Halvdan Koht, Norwegian statesman, internationally renowned scholar, and one of the leading historians of Europe, discusses religion, the formation of states and nations, economic drives, class struggle, the conflicting tendencies of rebellion and discipline, war, scholarship, international relations, internationalism—examining the motivating influences in what we traditionally call progress.

The author does not attempt to construct a philosophy of history. He does not present a single theme or idea that has been all-important in explaining what has happened; rather, he emphasizes human beings—their minds, beliefs, and actions. Metals meant nothing he says, until man learned how to smelt them, the seas had little meaning until man learned how to cross them. This of course does not mean that he does not take into account the material world with which man has worked, but it is always man’s intellect, will, and ingenuity that lie behind the changes that have characterized the human story.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, by Peter Wilson, from Harvard University Press

A Lesson in German Military History with Peter Wilson

In his landmark book Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, acclaimed historian Peter H. Wilson offers a masterful reappraisal of German militarism and warfighting over the last five centuries, leading to the rise of Prussia and the world wars. Below, Wilson answers our questions about this complex history,