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The pursuit of history : aims, methods, and new directions by John Tosh; Sean Lang

By John Tosh; Sean Lang

"This learn examines vital questions about historians and their paintings. during this fourth version the most textual content is made extra available via a few new positive factors: bankruptcy establishing summaries; marginal glosses for unusual phrases and ideas; boxed sections on the finish of every bankruptcy devoted to key occasions and folks; illustrative fabric through the e-book; feedback for additional studying on the finish of each Read more...

content material: 1. ancient understanding --
2. makes use of of historical past --
three. uncooked fabrics --
four. utilizing the assets --
five. issues of mainstream background --
6. Writing and interpretation --
7. limits of historic wisdom --
eight. historical past and social conception --
nine. historical past by means of numbers --
10. Theories of that means --
eleven. historical past through observe of mouth.
summary: "This learn examines very important questions on historians and their paintings. during this fourth version the most textual content is made extra available via a couple of new beneficial properties: bankruptcy establishing summaries; marginal glosses for surprising phrases and ideas; boxed sections on the finish of every bankruptcy devoted to key occasions and other people; illustrative fabric through the e-book; feedback for extra studying on the finish of every bankruptcy; and part headings to facilitate navigation round the book."--BOOK JACKET

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Extra info for The pursuit of history : aims, methods, and new directions in the study of modern history

Sample text

Apart from their intrinsic interest, what lies behind our concern with these instances of historical process is the much bigger question of how we got from ‘then’ to ‘now’. This is the ‘big story’ to which so many more restricted enquiries contribute. There may be a gulf between ‘us’ and ‘them’, but that gulf is actually composed of processes of growth, decay and change which it is the business of historians to uncover. Thus the fuller understanding we now have of witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries begs the question of how this form of belief came into decline and disrepute, to the point where Scramble for Africa The term given to the process by which, in the 1880s and 1890s, almost the entire African continent was taken over by European powers.

The confidence of these historians may seem naïve and grandiose today, but for two hundred years some such structure has underpinned all varieties of progressive thought, including both liberal democracy and Marxism. H. H. H. Plumb Sir John H. Plumb (1911–2001), a leading Cambridge historian specializing in the history of eighteenth-century Britain. Plumb was an influential figure, many of whose students went on to become high-profile historians. QXP 20 16/11/05 12:02 pm Page 20 THE PURSUIT OF HISTORY today, given the misgivings aroused by economic, environmental and technological developments.

Respect for tradition is sometimes confused with a sense of history because it involves an affection for the past (or some of it) and a desire to keep faith with it. But there is very little of the historical about appeals to tradition. Following the path laid down by the ancestors has a great deal to be said for it in communities which neither experience change nor expect it; for them present and past can scarcely be distinguished. That is why respect for tradition contributed so much to the cohesion of society among small-scale pre-literate peoples – and why indeed they are some- The State Opening of Parliament.

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