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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Structure, culture and history, December 3, 2008
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This review is from: Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning) (Paperback)
This is a refreshing book about the relationship between historical studies and the various branches of social science. The author discusses the study of social phenomena from a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives, utilizing clearly argued examples rather than abstract reasoning. He has many interesting ideas which go beyond the limitations of specialized paradigms.

The book requires some familiarity with contemporary social science since the discussion often revolves around key terms such as "structure" and "culture". But aside from that requirement, the text is quite accessible even for an interested layman.

My one point of complaint is that the chapters are a bit disunited. Apparently most of them have been written as separate research papers and are published together here with minor modifications. There are some interconnecting themes between the chapters but there could have been many more if the book had been written as one project from start to finish.

Even so this book is definitely a thought-provoking and insightful piece of work and I recommend it to anyone with a general interest in history and social science.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a readable and intelligent view of historical sociology, October 19, 2012
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This review is from: Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning) (Paperback)
Logics of History is a collection of essays by one of the leading voices in the re-emergence of historical sociology as a central locus of theoretical production in sociology. Sewell is readable, engaging, and creatively brings to life his vast historical research through a series of important statements on the role of history.

Included are a number of interesting chapters explicating his concept of "eventful history" and how historical moments represent and bring into being important structural changes. Also included is his ground-breaking piece on the "duality of structure" that, in echoing Anthony Giddens theory of "structuration", attempts to find a via media in the structure/agency debate. Logics is an important and compelling collection.

That being said, social scientists and students of historical sociology be warned: while the book does include a few new pieces, the majority of essays are previously published journal articles adapted for the book. While this doesn't detract from the quality of the book, it does mean that many of the most significant chapters are not new.
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4 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical events are transforming inventions:, March 3, 2007
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Vivian Brachet (Cuernavaca, Mexico) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning) (Paperback)
By perfecting and systematizing structuration theory and advocating a sociology of the historical event, William Sewell has profoundly shaped and renewed sociology in our time.
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Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning)
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