Fischer world history

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The Fischer World History is an overall presentation of world history in 36 volumes in the Fischer library of the Fischer Taschenbuchverlag between 1965 and 1983 . It covers the period from prehistory to the time after the Second World War .

New Fischer World History has appeared as a successor series since 2012 .

Overview of Fischer world history

The Fischer Weltgeschichte was created according to a new concept by the publisher Gottfried Bermann Fischer , who was ultimately able to win the French philologist and hermeneuticist Jean Bollack as editor of the series. In this concept, the history of events should no longer dominate (although this, in some cases, was allowed a large amount of space), but economic and social history should also be given due consideration. The second characteristic is the representation of world history by an international collective of authors : While some volumes were written only or mainly by one or two authors, others were responsible for several authors. The authors, some of whom are very well known, include Hermann Bengtson , Pierre Grimal , Jean Bottéro , Moses I. Finley and Fergus Millar , who contributed to the area of antiquity . Jacques Le Goff wrote Volume 11 on the High Middle Ages (like the authors of Volume 10 and 12 he belonged to the Annales School ), Wolfgang J. Mommsen in turn devoted himself to the age of imperialism and Reinhart Koselleck dealt with the “European revolutions”. Herbert Franke was a co-author of the China volume, while Claude Cahen wrote one of the two Islam volumes. A total of over 80 specialists were involved in the creation of the work, which was designed as a paperback series from the outset.

Especially the volumes that deal with the “fringes” of world history (according to the European understanding) (China, Japan, India or Central Asia) were desiderata in German-speaking countries at the time. The authors, who are very respected in their fields, generally vouch for competent , representations written according to scientific standards; the contributions were partly provided with annotations. Decades after their creation, they can of course no longer be representative of modern research, which means that Fischer's world history is at least partially obsolete. Nevertheless, it still provides an overall reliable and fact-rich overall presentation today.

The work was rated very positively in various reviews, which is also proven by numerous reprints. A new edition with identical content was published in 2000 under the title Weltbild Weltgeschichte . The edition has also been available as an e-book since 2004 ( digital library , volume 119).

Volumes of fishermen's world history

Each with the first publication date:

The individual volumes differ greatly in terms of conception and style. Volume 2 ( Old Orientals I ), edited by Elena Cassin , Jean Bottéro and Jean Vercoutter , for example, is very factual and concentrated in its presentation, so that a manual character is achieved, while Claude Cahen (Volume 14: Islam I ) value a clearly legible, more narrative overview presentation. Volume 21 ( Old American Cultures ) by Laurette Séjourné is very emancipatory and calls the white conquerors “wolf packs” (p. 11); the representation itself describes the topic in its individual themes, as a state. Richard Konetzke is much more cautious about criticizing the whites in his timely and also synchronistically conceived presentation (Volume 22: South and Central America I ). Other volumes, on the other hand, describe not only past conditions, but also and above all developments in time, for example Volume 14 (see above) or Volume 30 ( The United States of America ).

New Fischer world history

In September 2012, the first volumes of a New Fischer World History designed as a follow-up series were published . The editors are the historians Jörg Fisch , Wilfried Nippel and Wolfgang Schwentker . The series is designed for 21 volumes which, in contrast to its predecessor, are largely written by German authors. The volumes do not appear as paperbacks, but in bound form and (with a delay) as e-books. The new Fischer world history is Jörg fish, according to methodological reasons, more of a global history of each room and the relationship of the spaces between them. The authors should consider the state, economy, society, religion and culture.

The New Fischer World History comprises the following volumes :

Web links


  1. Weltbild Weltgeschichte. 36 volumes. Weltbild, Augsburg 2000, ISBN 978-3-8289-0400-2 .
  2. Born 1946, studied in Hamburg, Freiburg and Paris, doctorate in 1976, high school teacher in Kehl , author of Between Power Politics and Imperialism. The German policy on France 1904–1906 , Droste Verlag Düsseldorf 1976.
  3. Born in Kötzschenbroda in 1927. Dr. phil. Research assistant at the Eastern European Institute in Munich and then at the one in Innsbruck, where he completed his habilitation in 1981. Published with Erich Maschke The German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. Antifa , Munich 1974.
  4. Interview with Jörg Fisch .