The sociological study of history has only recently achieved recognition in American sociology. Although historical research occupied an important place in the nineteenth-century European sociological tradition, American scholars long accepted a disciplinary division relegating the study of the past to historians, while reserving contemporary subjects for sociological investigation. The field of historical sociology first witnessed a revival in the 1950s with the publication of Reinhard Bendix's Work and Authority in Industry (1956) and Neil Smelser's Social Change in the Industrial Revolution (1959). During these years, a small chorus of voices called for a more historical approach to sociological problems and closer cooperation between the two disciplines.
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