The Historian's Toolbox

Overview

The Historian's Toolbox introduces students to the theory, craft, and methods of history and equips them with a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, and filled with fascinating examples, this best-selling "how to" book opens up an exciting world of historical research.

Two new chapters in this third edition expand the repertory of tools and techniques available to students entering the workshop of history. ...

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Overview

The Historian's Toolbox introduces students to the theory, craft, and methods of history and equips them with a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, and filled with fascinating examples, this best-selling "how to" book opens up an exciting world of historical research.

Two new chapters in this third edition expand the repertory of tools and techniques available to students entering the workshop of history. "New Tools: GIS and CSI" introduces new methods of investigation—borrowed from geography and forensics—that have enabled researchers to challenge long-standing interpretations based on incorrect assumptions about past events. "TMI: Too Much Information" reminds readers that "more and faster" access to information does not lead to "better" results unless the researcher is also steeped in the conventions of the historian's craft.

The Historian's Toolbox demonstrates the relevance and expanding possibilities of the study of history in our cacophonous information age. This updated edition will resonate with a new generation of readers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765633262
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/15/2011
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Tables xi

History as Fun xiii

Part I The Craft of History

1 The Past 3

2 Story 7

3 History 11

4 Metahistory 20

5 Antihistory 27

6 The Present 33

7 The Future 39

Part II The Tools of History

8 Doing History: An Overview 47

8.1 Choosing a Good Paper Topic 47

8.2 Reading History 48

8.3 Taking Notes 51

8.4 How to Write a Good History Paper 52

9 Sources and Evidence 56

9.1 Primary and Secondary Sources 56

Primary Source: The Wannsee Protocol (1942) 57

Secondary Source: Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why do they say it? (2000) 57

Summary 59

9.2 Documents 59

A Revolutionary War Ancestor's Pension Application (1832) 59

9.3 Maps 61

Sebastian Munster's Map of the Americas, c: 1540 61

9.4 Artifacts 64

Digging Ancient Moscow 64

9.5 Images 66

Sharpshooter's Home or Photographer's Studio? 67

9.6 Cliometrics: Using Statistics to Prove a Point 70

The Black Population of Colonial America 70

9.7 Genetic Evidence 72

Welsh and Basques, Relatively Speaking 73

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings—What's My Line? 74

10 Credit and Acknowledgment 79

10.1 Notes 79

10.2 Bibliography 81

Styling your Bibliography 81

Types of Bibliographies 82

A Selective, Annotated Bibliography 82

10.3 Acknowledging Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism 83

10.4 Professional Plagiarism: How Not to Do History 86

11 Narrative and Explanation 91

11.1 The Language of the Historian 91

Paul Revere and the New England Village 92

11.2 Chronology 95

The Life of Margaret Fuller 97

11.3 Narrative 100

Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg 100

11.4 Argument 104

"'Little Women' Who Helped Make This Great War" 105

11.5 Causation 106

11.6 The Reasons Why 108

Explaining the Mann Gulch Fire of August 5,1949 109

12 Interpretation 112

12.1 Reviewing History 112

Bellesiles's Arming America 113

12.2 Historical Revision 116

The Denmark Vesey Slave Conspiracy (1822) 116

12.3 Historiography 119

World War II 120

12.4 Women's History: The Leo Frank Case 124

13 Speculation 128

13.1 Historical Speculation 128

Will the Real Martin Guerre Please Get an Identity? 128

13.2 History as Fiction 130

The Soldier Who Never was 131

13.3 Conspiracies 133

Who Really Really Killed Lincoln? 133

13.4 Forgeries and Facsimiles 136

Is a Document Genuine? 136

Is a Collection of Documents Authentic? 138

How Can Forgeries Influence History? 138

Is a Newly Discovered Collection by a Well-Known Author Authentic? 139

If it is a Forgery, Who is the Forger? 139

13.5 Fiction as History 141

13.6 Film as History: Fact or Fiction? 143

Films Can Help the Historian Understand the Past 144

Films Can Hinder Our Understanding of the Historical Past 145

Part III The Relevance of History

14 Everyday History 151

14.1 Studying Ordinary People 151

The Burgermeister's Daughter 151

14.2 Everyone's a Historian 153

15 Oral History 156

15.1 The Perils of Memory 156

15.2 Interviewees and Interviewers 158

The WPA Slave Narratives 159

15.3 Techniques of Oral History 161

16 Material Culture 164

16.1 Spirits in the Material World 165

Richard Bushman and The Refinement of America 165

16.2 Studying Material Culture 167

17 Public History 170

17.1 History Beyond the Ivory Tower 170

17.2 History and the Public 172

The Enola Gay Controversy 172

18 Event Analysis 177

18.1 History in Real Time 177

The Iraq War: Munich, Mukden, or Mexico? 178

19 New Tools: GIS and CSI 182

19.1 Spatial History: Geographic Information Systems 182

19.2 Killer App: Crime Scene Investigation Forensics 184

20 History on the Internet 187

20.1 Using the Internet: Promises and Pitfalls 187

20.2 Wikipedia and "Wikiality" 189

20.3 Blogging the Past (and Present) 191

21 TMI: Too Much Information 193

21.1 History as Information 193

21.2 Hacking History: The Deluge of WikiLeaks 196

21.3 Private Parts: The Intrusion of History 199

22 Epilogue: The Persistence of History 202

Glossary 205

Selected Bibliography 213

Index 219

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