"The late Siegfried Kracauer was best known as a historian and critic of the cinema. His main intellectual preoccupation during the last years of his life was the relation between past and present, and the relation between histories in different levels of generality. Philosophy is concerned with the last things while history seeks to explain 'the last things before the last.' One after another he examined various theories of history and exposed their strengths and weaknesses. Well written and cogently argued." -Library Journal This edition features a new introduction by editor Paul Oskar Kristeller of Columbia University.