The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History / Edition 4

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Of previous editions:

“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 famous study examines important questions about historians and their work - Why do we study history? How do we construct our knowledge of the past? What are the limitations of historical evidence? What different kinds of history are being written today?

The subjects covered are difficult and sometimes controversial but John Tosh has proved himself an admirable guide in this celebrated work. His cool eye and lively pen make the issues clear and involving; and he makes the reader vividly aware of just how far our historical knowledge is conditioned by the character of the sources and by the methods of the historians who work on them.

In this 4th edition the main text is made even more accessible through a number of new features:

  • Chapter opening summaries
  • Marginal glosses for difficult terms and concepts
  • Boxed sections at the end of each chapter dedicated to key events and people
  • Illustrative material throughout the text
  • Suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter
  • Section headings to facilitate navigation around the book

John Tosh is Professor of History at Roehampton University.

Seán Lang is Research Fellow in History at Anglia Polytechnic University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405823517
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

John Tosh is Professor of History at Roehampton University.

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.

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Table of Contents

1. Historical awareness

2. The uses of history

3. The raw materials

4. Using the sources

5. The themes of mainstream history

6. Writing and interpretation

7. The limits of historical knowledge

8. History and social theory

9. History by numbers

10. Theories of meaning

11. History by word of mouth

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