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What Is History? by
Call Number: TOK 901 CAR
Publication Date: 1967-10-12
'...[Carr] tackles half a dozen of the most fundamental questions concerning the interpretation of human social experience. He handles each of these with such mastery as we seldom see, and his little book is one of those rare works which one can with assurance predict will be regarded as basic for years to come.' -- David M. Potter, The Nation
Call Number: TOK 809.935 LEE
Publication Date: 2009-08-31
Biography is one of the most popular, best-selling, and widely-read of literary genres. But why do certain people and historical events arouse so much interest? How can biographies be compared with history and works of fiction? Does a biography need to be true? Is it acceptable to omit or conceal things? Does the biographer need to personally know the subject? Must a biographer be subjective? In this Very Short Introduction Hermione Lee considers the cultural and historical background of different types of biographies, looking at the factors that affect biographers and whether there are different strategies, ethics, and principles required for writing about one person compared to another. She also considers contemporary biographical publications and considers what kind of 'lives' are the most popular and in demand.
Call Number: 901 ARN
Publication Date: 2000
There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's Very Short Introduction is a stimulating essay about how we study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and explores the ways these questions have been answered in the past. Concepts such as causation, interpretation, and periodization, are introduced by means of concrete examples of how historians work, giving the reader a sense of the excitement of discovering not only the past, but also ourselves.
The Practice of History by
Call Number: 901 ELT
Publication Date: 1987
Elton's classic work is a wide-ranging, succinct and practical introduction for all students and general readers of history. It makes a major contribution to the question "what is history?".
In addition to the suggestions above, you can also try databases, such as JSTOR, Project Muse and ProQuest Central, on the Reference Sites page of the College Portal (website).
Practicing History: selected essays by
Call Number: TOK 907.2 TUC
Publication Date: 1982
Celebrated for bringing a personal touch to history in her Pulitzer Prize-winning epic The Guns of August and other classic books, Barbara W. Tuchman reflects on world events and the historian's craft in these perceptive, essential essays. From thoughtful pieces on the historian's role to striking insights into America's past and present to trenchant observations on the international scene, Barbara W. Tuchman looks at history in a unique way and draws lessons from what she sees. Spanning more than four decades of writing in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Harper's, The Nation, and The Saturday Evening Post, Tuchman weighs in on a range of eclectic topics, from Israel and Mao Tse-tung to a Freudian reading of Woodrow Wilson. This is a splendid body of work, the story of a lifetime spent "practicing history."
Visions of Politics: regarding method by
Call Number: 320.01 SKI
Publication Date: 2002
The first of three volumes of essays by Quentin Skinner, one of the world's leading intellectual historians. This collection includes some of his most important philosophical and methodological statements written over the past four decades, each carefully revised for publication in this form. In a series of seminal essays Professor Skinner sets forth the intellectual principles that inform his work. Writing as a practising historian, he considers the theoretical difficulties inherent in the pursuit of knowledge and interpretation, and elucidates the methodology which finds its expression in his two successive volumes. All of Professor Skinner's work is characterised by philosophical power, limpid clarity, and elegance of exposition; these essays, many of which are now recognised classics, provide a fascinating and convenient digest of the development of his thought.
Western Historical Thinking by
Call Number: 901 WES
Publication Date: 2002
What is history – a question historians have been asking themselves time and again. Does "history" as an academic discipline, as it has evolved in the West over the centuries, represent a specific mode of historical thinking that can bedefined in contrast to other forms of historical consciousness? In this volume, Peter Burke, a prominent "Western" historian, offers ten hypotheses that attempt to constitute specifically "Western Historical Thinking." Scholars from Asia and Africa comment on his position in the light of their own ideas of the sense and meaning of historical thinking. The volume is rounded off by Peter Burke's comments on the questions and issues raised by the authors and his suggestions for the way forward towards a common ground for intercultural communication.