Synopses & Reviews
The notion of ¿history¿ has always been one strenuously debated by both academics and the wider population. This deeply provocative re-thinking of our engagement with the past by one of the world¿s leading post-modern historians takes that debate one step further.
Alun Munslow re-assesses history in the light of post-modernism and other intellectual challenges which have questioned the primacy of the modernist epistemology of empiricism. In an original and stimulating vision of history that will intrigue all those seriously interested in the subject, Munslow argues that history is not only about the sources, but a literary construction.
Munslow concludes that history, as a cultural narrative about the past can never tell us what the past really means. This far reaching conclusion is based on the radical idea that the content of history is defined as much by the nature of the language used to represent and interpret that content as it is by research into the sources. This suggests that history does not produce the most likely meaning of the past but rather can only generate alternative meanings.
The lead volume in a major new series on historical thinking and practice, this is an accessible yet absorbing study that breaks new ground in discussing the stage history is at now, and perhaps most engagingly, the direction it will take in the future.
Alun Munslow is Professor of History and Historical Theory at the University of Staffordshire. He is the author of Deconstructing History, The Routledge Companion to Historical Studies and is the UK Editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice.
"This is a deeply provocative re-thinking of our engagement with the past, that is that history will never be the same again - neither will the past. This book provides an evaluation and overview of the state of history as it is imagined, conceptualized and practiced today. Written by one of the leading 'postmodern historians' working today, and with a highly unusual approach, this is the first book to bring the philosophy of history into everyday considerations of historical thinking and practice. Alun Munslow, taking an explicitly postmodernist position opposed to empiricism, writes that the past and history are in fact different. For those interested in historiography
About the Author
Alun Munslow is editor of the journal Rethinking History. He is the author of 3 history books already, and is one of the big names in History and Theory in the UK
Table of Contents
Introduction: What is History?
Section One: Epistemology and Historical Knowing
1. The History of Historical Thinking
2. Inference, Causation, Agency and Meaning
Section Two: Referentiality, Evidence and Practice
3. Evidence, Reality and Correspondence
4. Objectivity, Truth and Relativism in History
Section Three: Theory and Concept
5. The History of Social Theory
6. Constructing Histories
Section Four: Writing the Past as History
7. Narrative and Representation
8. History as Historiography
Guide to Further Reading