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Other titles in the Very Short Introductions series:
History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)by John H Arnold
Synopses & Reviews
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 addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past. Such key concepts as causation, interpretation, and periodization are introduced by way of concrete examples of how historians work, thus giving the reader a sense of the excitement implicit in discovering the past--and ourselves.
The aim throughout History: A Very Short Introduction is to discuss theories of history in a general, pithy, and accessible manner, rather than delve into specific periods. This is a book that will appeal to all students and general readers with an interest in history or historiography.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 127-130) and index.
About the Author
John Arnold teaches history at the University of East Anglia, specializing in the medieval period and the philosophy of history.
Table of Contents
1. Questions about murder and history; 2. The history of history; 3. What really happened: truth, archives, and the love of old things; 4. Escapes from the tower; 5. Causation and interpretations; 6. Telling stories, telling tales; 7. Periodization and time; 8. Objectivity, truth, and judgement; 9. The role of the past in the present; Further reading; Index
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