The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History

The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History

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by Gordon S. Wood, Malcolm Hillgartner
     
 

History is to society what memory is to the individual. Without it, we don’t know who we are and we can’t make wise decisions about our future. But while the nature of memory is constant, the nature of history has changed radically over the past forty years.

In The Purpose of the Past, historian Gordon S. Wood examines this sea change in his field

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Overview

History is to society what memory is to the individual. Without it, we don’t know who we are and we can’t make wise decisions about our future. But while the nature of memory is constant, the nature of history has changed radically over the past forty years.

In The Purpose of the Past, historian Gordon S. Wood examines this sea change in his field through consideration of some of its most important historians and their works. He offers wonderful insight into what great historians do, how they can stumble, and what strains of thought have dominated the marketplace of ideas in historical scholarship. The result is a history of American history, as well as an argument for its ongoing necessity.

A commanding assessment of the field by one of its masters, The Purpose of the Past will enlarge every reader’s capacity to appreciate history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781433210044
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2008
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
9
Product dimensions:
6.72(w) x 6.22(h) x 1.18(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
"Influence" in History     17
Anachronism in History     30
Narrative History     40
The Lessons of History     62
Continuity in History     73
History and the New Historicism     85
History as Fiction     94
History as High Politics     110
Microhistory     119
Truth in History     133
History Versus Political Theory     146
History Without Ideas     164
History and Heritage     180
Comparative History     196
Postmodern History     212
Satirical History     227
Multicultural History     234
History and Myth     249
History as Cultural Criticism     264
Race, Class, Gender and History Writing     277
Presentism in History     293
Index     309

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