History: What and Why? is a highly accessible introductory survey of historians' views about the nature and purpose of their subject. It offers a historical perspective and clear guide to contemporary debates about the nature and purpose of history, and a discussion of the traditional model of history as an account of the past 'as it was'. It assesses the challenges to orthodox views and examines the impact of Marxism, feminism and post-colonialism on the study of history.
This second edition has been updated to reflect the continuing, and still increasing, debate surrounding these issues. In particular it discusses:
- historians' fear of postmodernism
- holocaust denial and the Irving/Lipstadt libel trial
- the future of the past in the light of the postmodern challenge.
For anyone teaching, learning or studying history, this is a must.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: History, Philosophy and Historiography 2. What Was History? The Past as it Was 3. Why History? Past Answers 4. External Challenges to the Old Model: Some Interdisciplinary Perspectives 5. Internal Challenges to the Old Model: Some Major Forces 6. What? and Why? The Future of History 7. Postscript
'A useful guide to a myriad of theories and key figures.' - Oxbow Book News