This is the first full study in English of the German historicist tradition. Frederick C. Beiser surveys the major German thinkers on history from the middle of the eighteenth century until the early twentieth century, providing an introduction to each thinker and the main issues ininterpreting and appraising his thought. The volume offers new interpretations of well-known philosophers such as Johann Gottfried Herder and Max Weber, and introduces others who are scarcely known at all, including J. A. Chladenius, Justus Moser, Heinrich Rickert, and Emil Lask. Beyond anexploration of the historical and intellectual context of each thinker, Beiser illuminates the sources and reasons for the movement of German historicism - one of the great revolutions in modern Western thought, and the source of our historical understanding of the human world.