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The Pursuit of Historyby John Tosh
Synopses & Reviews
An excellent introduction to methodology in history which will be read with advantage by historians at any stage of their development.
Can easily be handled by the general reader wanting to know what is happening to history today.
British Book News
This classic introduction to the study of history invites the reader to stand back and consider some of its most fundamental questions - What is the point of studying history? How do we know about the past? Does an objective historical truth exist and can we ever access it?
In answering these central questions, John Tosh argues that, despite the impression of fragmentation created by postmodernism in recent years, history is a coherent discipline which still bears the imprint of its nineteenth-century origins. Consistently clear-sighted, he provides a lively and compelling guide to a complex and sometimes controversial subject, while making his readers vividly aware of just how far our historical knowledge is conditioned by the character of the sources and the methods of the historians who work on them.
The fifth edition has been revised and updated throughout, with the addition of new sections on:
· Global history
· Comparative history
· Womens and gender history
· Oral history and memory
Lucid and engaging, this new edition retains all the user-friendly features that have helped to make this book a favourite with both students and lecturers, including marginal glosses, illustrations, suggested further reading and boxed guides to key events and people.
Book News Annotation:
In this fifth edition of his history of historiography, Tosh (history, Roehampton University, UK) has rewritten and updated several chapters, deleting some schools of thought now discarded and adding newer approaches such as gender studies and postcolonial theory. His goal remains the same, however; to introduce students to the many ways of looking at the past and to encourage them to analyze both primary and secondary sources according to the possible bias of the author. He reviews the major influences for modern historians, such as Marx and Weber, as well as explaining the problems involved in using memoirs and chronicles in the search for accuracy. Sidebars give information on terms, events and people that may be unfamiliar. These can be useful, but the texts often show his own historical bias, something teachers might consider incorporating as they use this book. Nevertheless, this is a useful introduction for undergraduate history students. The techniques Tosh describes for evaluating historical evidence can also be usefully applied to perusal of the daily paper. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
John Tosh's Pursuit of History is the essential introduction to the practice of history. The fifth edition incorporates a wealth of student-friendly features to ensure that it is even more popular with students, including summaries and definitions of the practice of history, expanded coverage of film, television and web, and a discussion of contempory media popularity of history. It offers excellent guidance through topics that are sometimes difficult and controversial, and provides an engaging and accessible introduction to the methods and scope of history today. Appropriate for use on all History Theory, Methods, and Historiography courses.
The essential introduction to the practice of history - now revised and brought up-to-date for the twenty-first century.
About the Author
John Tosh is Professor of History at Roehampton University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the author of several works on historiography, notably Why History Matters (2008) and Historians on History (2nd ed., 2008).
Sean Lang is a Research Fellow at Anglia Polytechnic University and was formerly a sixth form teacher. He is also Director of the Historical Association Curriculum Project, developing a new type of history curriculum for pupils aged 14-19.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Fifth Edition
1. Historical al Awareness
2. The Uses of History
3. Mapping the Field
4. The Raw Materials
5. Using the Sources
6. Writing and Interpretation
7. The Limits of Historical Knowledge
8. History and Social Theory
9. Cultural Evidence and the Cultural Turn
10. Gender History and Postcolonial History
11. Memory and the Spoken Word
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