BN.com Gift Guide

A Brief History of History

Overview

THE REMARKABLE EVOLUTION OF HISTORY THROUGH THE AGES What began as a minor literary genre in ancient Greece stands today as perhaps the most successful monument to the global spread of Western civilization, rivaling even science in its ubiquity. Yet it did not have to turn out that way. In A Brief History of History, the most accessible and lively biography ever of history as a living idea, Colin Wells moves forward through the ages to show how the great historians and their works have changed our understanding ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (30) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $14.67   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

THE REMARKABLE EVOLUTION OF HISTORY THROUGH THE AGES What began as a minor literary genre in ancient Greece stands today as perhaps the most successful monument to the global spread of Western civilization, rivaling even science in its ubiquity. Yet it did not have to turn out that way. In A Brief History of History, the most accessible and lively biography ever of history as a living idea, Colin Wells moves forward through the ages to show how the great historians and their works have changed our understanding of history, and why “history” is a startingly fluid concept, with an evolutionary course—a story—all its own. An Excerpt from A BRIEF HISTORY OF HISTORYHere’s a question: What if Thucydides had written smut? In the LatinWest, writers like Gregory and Bede may have abandoned secular history, but on its home turf in the Greek East, the tradition of Herodotus and Thucydides proved more, shall we say, robust . . .

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599211220
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Wells is the author of Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Saudi Arabia.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Prologue: The Traveler's Tale ix
1 "A Possession for Always" 1
2 "From the Foundation of the City" 19
3 Barbarians (and Believers) at the Gate 40
4 Clio Nods 62
5 The Wall of Faith 84
6 History Reborn 107
7 Point, Counterpoint 129
8 New Worlds 141
9 The Challenge of Reason 163
10 Reason and Imagination Pass Each Other in the Night 182
11 Making It (Sort of) in the Enlightenment 200
12 History Goes to School and Gets a Job 221
13 The Last Amateur 237
14 History Discovers Art and Culture 247
15 Deep Time 264
16 Vast Impersonal Forces 279
17 The Return of the Storyteller 294 Epilogue: History Comes of Age 311 Suggested Reading 315 Acknowledgments 319 Notes 321 Index 331
Read More Show Less

Recipe

What Daniel Boorstin did for science in The Discoverers, Colin Wells now does for history in A Brief History of History. An accessible and lively biography of history as a living idea, this book brings together evocative sketches of the great historians with concise summaries of their most important works. Moving forward through the ages, Wells shows us how such brilliant minds have changed our understanding of history, how history itself moved forward over time as a way of approaching the past, and why “history” is a startlingly fluid concept, with an evolutionary course—a story—all its own.
History is the turf on which we fight our culture wars. Given its humble origins as a minor literary genre in ancient Greece, the study of history stands today as perhaps the most successful monument to the global spread of Western civilization, rivaling even science in its ubiquity. Yet it did not have to turn out that way. While tracing the evolution of history, Wells shows how this branch of knowledge has at times been rejected and scorned by those who questioned its very legitimacy.
Wells begins by arguing that history has two “parents” in the ancient Greek world, epic poetry and science, and that its first two practitioners, Herodotus and Thucydides, each took after one of those parents respectively. This dichotomy serves as a backdrop for the larger narrative that follows, in which “the scientist” dominates the writing of history until very recent times, when “the storyteller” makes a comeback.
A riveting blend of vibrant prose and penetrating insight, A Brief History of History is a must for anyone interested in how welook at the past.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)