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"Fasolt argues that all historical study inevitable is limited and distorted, in that it rests on historians' mostly unexamined political values and beliefs about time, eternity, truth, meaning, freedom, and responsibility. By showing how our political beliefs determine how we understand the past and the present and how we use this understanding to make our choices about the future, Fasolt argues that 'the study of history is in and of itself a form of political activity' and 'a dangerous form of knowledge.' . . . He illustrates his argument through an intriguing exploration of the writings of a significant early modern German political theorist and polymath, Hermann Conring (1606-81), especially Conring's interpretation of the Roman law doctrines of Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1313/14-1357). This erudite, challenging, and highly readable exploration of the limits of historical study opens many controversial and rewarding vistas for historians and philosophers of history alike."