E. H. Carr's What is History? was originally published by Macmillan in 1961. Since then it has sold hundreds of thousands of copies throughout the world. In this book, ten internationally renowned scholars, writing from a range of historical vantage points, answer Carr's question for a new generation of historians: What does it mean to study history at the start of the Twenty-first century? This volume stands alongside Carr's classic, paying tribute to his seminal enquiry while moving the debate into new territory, to ensure its freshness and relevance for a new century of historical study.
On `What is History?' provides a student introduction to contemporary historiographical debates. Carr and Elton are still the starting point for the vast majority of introductory courses on the nature of history. Building on his highly successful Rethinking History, Keith Jenkins explores in greater detail the influence of these key figures. He argues that historians need to move beyond their `modernist' thinking and embrace the postmodern-type approaches of thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Hayden White. Through its radical critique of Carr and Elton and its championing of Rorty and White, On `What is History'? represents a significant development for introductory studies on the nature of history.
In 1985, the well-known monthly magazine, History Today, ran a series of articles by distinguished contributors on different branches of history and the problems involved for historians in studying, researching and writing in these areas of history. A selection of these essays now appears in book form, edited by Juliet Gardiner, the former editor of History Today.
This book offers a detailed look at new trends in methods of historical inquiry.Through articles and interviews, the prominent historians featured in this collection comment on such wide-ranging topics of historical inquiry as the impact of postmodernism on the field, the relationship between professional and popular history, the importance of historical consciousness, and the limitations of the field in its current state. A special feature of this volume is a lively forum on counterfactuals - the might-have-beens of history. The volume in general and the forum in particular illustrates the value of ongoing conversation between historians in advancing historical investigation and enriching debate and discussion within and beyond the academic setting.The contributors are Jeremy Black, David Cannadine, Robert Cowley, Richard J. Evans, Edward Ingram, Richard Ned Lebow, Joseph S. Lucas, John Lukacs, C. Behan McCullagh, William H. McNeill, Allan Megill, Gavriel Rosenfeld, Peter Seixas, Beverley Southgate, Willie Thompson, and Sam Wineburg.
'Not only one of our most distinguished historians but also one of the most valuable contributors to historical theory' Spectator In formulating an answer to the question of 'What is History', Carr argues that the 'facts' of history are simply those which historians have chosen to focus on. All historical facts come to us as a result of interpretive choices by historians influenced by the standards of their age. Now for the first time in Penguin Modern Classics, with an introduction by Richard J. Evans, author of the Third Reich trilogy.
An experienced author of history and theory presents this examination of the purpose of history at a time when recent debates have rendered the question 'what is history for?' of utmost importance. Charting the development of historical studies and examining how history has been used, this study is exceptional in its focus on the future of the subject as well as its past. It is argued that history in the twenty-first century must adopt a radical and morally therapeutic role instead of studying for 'its own sake'. Providing examples of his vision of 'history in post-modernity', Beverley Southgate focuses on the work of four major historians, including up-to-date publications: Robert A. Rosenstone's study of Americans living in nineteenth-century Japan Peter Novick's work on the Holocaust Sven Lindgvist's A History of Bombing Tzvetan Todorov's recently published work on the twentieth century. This makes compulsive reading for all students of history, cultural studies and the general reader, as notions of historical truth and the reality of the past are questioned, and it becomes vital to rethink history's function and renegotiate its uses for the postmodern age.
Lectures to Mark the Centenary of the British Academy 1902-2002
Author: John Morrill
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This is an intriguing collection of reflections on the stability and instability of the ways in which we organize knowledge, and on how far the academic community can and should be involved in the shaping of public policy. To mark its centenary in 2002 the British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences, organized a programme of lectures on the current state of various disciplines and their future prospects. The authors of the eight essays and four commentaries are drawn from Britain, Europe and the United States.
Since its first publication in 1961 E.H. Carr's What is History? has established itself as the classic introduction to the subject. Ranging across topics such as historical objectivity, society and the individual, the nature of causation, and the possibility of progress, Carr delivered an incisive text that still has the power to provoke debate today. For this fortieth anniversary reissue, Richard J. Evans has written an extensive new introduction that discusses the origins and the impact of the book, and assesses its relevance in the age of twenty-first century postmodernism and epistemological anxiety.