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What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy. Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past. It will be essential reading for anyone who reads, writes, teaches, or cares about history.

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Genre: History
Author: John Lewis Gaddis
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release: 2004
File: 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 0195171578

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BOOK EXCERPT:

What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy. Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past. It will be essential reading for anyone who reads, writes, teaches, or cares about history.

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Genre: History
Author: John Lewis Gaddis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release: 2002-11-14
File: 208 Pages
ISBN-13: 0199741212

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BOOK EXCERPT:

What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today.Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy.Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past. It will be essential reading for anyone who reads, writes, teaches, or cares about history.

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Genre: History
Author: John Lewis Gaddis
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release: 2002-11-14
File: 208 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780195066524

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The aspiration to relate the past 'as it really happened' has been the central goal of American professional historians since the late nineteenth century. In this remarkable history of the profession, Peter Novick shows how the idea and ideal of objectivity were elaborated, challenged, modified, and defended over the last century. Drawing on the unpublished correspondence as well as the published writings of hundreds of American historians from J. Franklin Jameson and Charles Beard to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Eugene Genovese, That Noble Dream is a richly textured account of what American historians have thought they were doing, or ought to be doing, when they wrote history - how their principles influenced their practice and practical exigencies influenced their principles.

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Genre: Political Science
Author: Peter Novick
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release: 1988-09-30
File: Pages
ISBN-13: 9781107268296

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Considers what aspiring and mature historians need to know about the discipline of history in the United States today.

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Genre: History
Author: James M. Banner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release: 2012-04-30
File: 267 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781107021594

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"What is historiography?" asked the American historian Carl Becker in 1938. Professional historians continue to argue over the meaning of the term. This book challenges the view of historiography as an esoteric subject by presenting an accessible and concise overview of the history of historical writing from the Renaissance to the present. Historiography plays an integral role in aiding undergraduate students to better understand the nature and purpose of historical analysis more generally by examining the many conflicting ways that historians have defined and approached history. By demonstrating how these historians have differed in both their interpretations of specific historical events and their definitions of history itself, this book conveys to students the interpretive character of history as a discipline and the way that the historian's context and subjective perspective influence his or her understanding of the past.

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Genre: History
Author: Eileen Ka-May Cheng
Publisher: A&C Black
Release: 2012-03-08
File: 256 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781441135995

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A primer for dealing with conceptual and methodological problems in history and presents classic historical problems as a way to examine what history is, what it means, and how it can be told and understood.

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Genre: History
Author: Carl R. Trueman
Publisher: Crossway
Release: 2010
File: 192 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781581349238

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A philosophical interpretation of history, examining the significance of historical study as a science and a reflection of social values

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Genre: History
Author: Edward Hallett Carr
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 1961
File: 209 Pages
ISBN-13: 039470391X

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Woodrow Wilson, a practicing academic historian before he took to politics, defined the importance of history: "A nation which does not know what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today." He, like many men of his generation, wanted to impose a version of America's founding identity: it was a land of the free and a home of the brave. But not the braves. Or the slaves. Or the disenfranchised women. So the history of Wilson's generation omitted a significant proportion of the population in favor of a perspective that was predominantly white, male and Protestant. That flaw would become a fissure and eventually a schism. A new history arose which, written in part by radicals and liberals, had little use for the noble and the heroic, and that rankled many who wanted a celebratory rather than a critical history. To this combustible mixture of elements was added the flame of public debate. History in the 1990s was a minefield of competing passions, political views and prejudices. It was dangerous ground, and, at the end of the decade, four of the nation's most respected and popular historians were almost destroyed by it: Michael Bellesiles, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose and Joseph Ellis. This is their story, set against the wider narrative of the writing of America's history. It may be, as Flaubert put it, that "Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times." To which he could have added: falsify, plagiarize and politicize, because that's the other story of America's history.

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Genre: History
Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Release: 2007-07-03
File: 336 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781586485948

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A lively introduction to historical methodology, an overview of the techniques historians must master in order to reconstruct the past.

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Genre: Philosophy
Author: Martha C. Howell
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release: 2001
File: 207 Pages
ISBN-13: 0801485606

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