in defence of history summary

7 de janeiro de 2021

Given the topic one might have expected a serious and sustained discussion of Foucault's account of history - we get a paragraph on pp. This is an engaging work if you’re really interested in the theory and philosophy of history. He was portrayed the movie "Denial" about the libel trial of Irving v. Lipstadt in which he served as an expert witness for Lipstadt as she proved the truth of the Holocaust against the falsehood of Irving’s denialism. Pub. This kind of half-heartedness is typical for the whole work. In my days as a member of the English Department, I found my colleagues in History both enviable and arrogant in the way they closed ranks against what they regarded as less rigorous disciplines like mine. It appeared in the British United Service Magazine under the pseudonym, Lieutenant N. Backsight Forethought ("BF"), who is the narrator of the book. Evans tackles almost every classic issue the study of history has to deal with: can we reach the past? I absolutely adored the Trevelyan quotation included by Evans in the final paragraph- 'That which compels the historian to 'scorn delights and live laborious days' is the ardour of his own curiosity to know what really happened long ago in that land of mystery which we call the past. Taking paradigm to mean 'theories, assumptions' (as Evans does, p. 42) I think I can show that his whole conception and defence of history takes place within a familiar, traditional paradigm of which he remains unaware. A brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what historians are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. A great defence of history and a great defense of the truth, Interesting topics and fluent writing. This article is more than 15 years old. 0 Reviews. In defence of history. In Defense of Academic History Writing. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. I am new to reading history, having been bored by it in school many many years ago, as a litany of remembered dates. Created Autumn 2001 by the Institute of Historical Research.Copyright notice. Dismissed in a single sentence and a bizarre one at that, to the effect that 'master-narratives are the hegemonic stories told by those in power' (p. 150). Evans may not know much about postmodernism but he knows what he doesn't like. So from a history point of view, this is my first historian book, and this was a compelling read! In this book the author Richard J. Evans, looks at the very different forms of approaching history, and to discuss post-modernism! What’s best known about this book is Evans’s defense of history from postmodernism. Fri 14 Jan 2005 20.42 EST This book was written before the publication of his three volume history of Nazi Germany and I often wished I could ask specific questions such as, 'Does it matter that we lack a written order by Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews?' Most contemporary critical theory arrives by passing through a single gate, recognition of the distance or gap or non-coincidence between reality and representation. In Defence of History aims to defend a mainstream notion of history-writing against 'intellectual barbarians' (p. 8), namely 'the invading hordes of semioticians, post-structuralist, New Historicists, Foucauldians, Lacanians and the rest' (p. 9). How is the historical record integrated into a coherent and accurate account? It becomes rapidly clear, however, that the author’s primary intention is to respond to the formidable challenge to history as a discipline presented by now well known postmodern criticism. It admits that there is more than one kind of postmodernism ('there are many different varieties', p. 205) yet rides roughshod over all these differences in its lampoon. A lucid, muscular, and often sly reflection on the nature of historical knowledge by an experienced practicing historian. Although originally written fifteen years ago, Richard Evans' In Defence of History is still a book I would recommend to both students of history, and those simply curious about the possibility of historical knowledge. Angie Thomas was as stunned as her fans when she was spurred to write a prequel to The Hate U Give, her blockbuster 2017 YA debut inspired by... To see what your friends thought of this book. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia and its national interests. Did Evans read Of Grammatology as his note claims? Evans mounts a defense of doing History that accepts and incorporates many of the points of postmodernist and poststructuralist thinkers, one that accepts parts of the critique of the discipline's foundations without giving up a belief that the past is knowable, even if not always with perfect clarity, and that there are clear and straightforward ways of approaching historical research. Gordon Wood | Apr 1, 2010. Badiou has also been respected internationally for some time. The author comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Crucially, in my view, Evans admits the impossibility not only of fully reconstructing the past but also of disregarding present purposes and personal principles (two concepts maintained by Elton as possible/postmodernists as impossible). As it is, the book relates concerns among historians about postmodern philosophy in a way that. In defence of history. How much, and how so? A hard-hitting critique…In Defense of History brings together fine essays that speak directly to the underlying assumptions of postmoderism and offer a stunning critique of its usefulness in both understanding and critiquing the current historical epoch. It is said that Derrida 'rejected the search for origins and causes as futile' (pp. Historical monographs pour from the university presses—at least 1,200 or so a year—and yet have very few readers. Evans has also taught at the University of Stirling, University of East Anglia and Birkbeck College, London. What’s the role of individuals? A convenient claim of our postmodern times is that historical truth does not exist, or, at the very least, is not accessible to us. In Defence of History admits that texts are texts and reality is reality. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan. British army, military force charged with the defense of the United Kingdom and the fulfillment of its international defense commitments. Containment—as a metaphor for the act of writing about others—is unequal to the times we live in. Amid agonies of doubt about the future of history in a postmodern world, Evans, a historian of Germany (Cambridge University), confidently defends the autonomy of historical knowledge. As a by-product of this defence Evans gives a clear survey of what history is and what it claims to do. He builds on the work of E.H. Carr and G.R. Sir Richard, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, is no swashbuckling character. Throughout he addresses the positions of historians and the schools of history that have attempted to answer these questions with finality. His satirical comments about a number of other historians (especially die-hard postmodernists) are hilarious; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded. date: Jan 15, 2001 ISBN: 1862073953 Granta Books, London 384 … It’s not often that I read a book that’s written by a character in a movie, but I did so when I read Sir Richard Evans’s In Defense of History (1998). I know few social environments where the toes are more sensitive than in academic circles. [Another dodgy qualifier, I would say: what extent is envisaged by 'to a large extent', and why does this latitude exist at all?]. I'm teaching this book in a graduate seminar on research methods, so I may have to update this review based on student response. I am new to reading history, having been bored by it in school many many years ago, as a litany of remembered dates. I found this book by the emeritus Regius Professor of Modern History agreeable and sensible, but a trifle disappointing. While In Defence of History addresses all aspects of historical method, its key focus is on an extensive evaluation of this postmodern thinking. His plea for a moderate application of classic historical methods brings him in conflict with postmodernism. Eric Hobsbawm. Note: This review first appeared in Textual Practice, vol.12, no. In fact, I wish that Evans would update the book to reflect his experiences as an expert witness in that trial. Gordon Wood | Apr 1, 2010. Yes, maybe they are more focused on achievement, and maybe they are excellent sheep without as much intellectual curiosity. But overall this a great read, and if your history student, it will help you analyse source documents and history in general in a more academic way! Defense of Poesy was the first critical essay in Renaissance England. Be the first to ask a question about In Defense of History. As I read history books now. I had no idea of the historiography idea or the different ways history can be taught but this book has opened my eyes. His demolition of the wilder claims of post-modern historians, who deny the possibility of … Just as using the methods from t. Evans offers an introduction to and defense of history as a discipline. In Defence of History aims to take stock of forty years of historical theory and practice after Carr's ground-setting What is History?. As far as the first goes, it doesn’t really seem to contain much that an average history graduate would be surprised by, although it might be helpful to those beginning or intending to begin a history degree (it was recommended me in my first year and I only just got around to reading it several years after graduation). WHEN Lukács’ book History and Class Consciousness appeared in 1922, it caused an uproar in the Communist International. Evans tackles almost every classic issue the study of history has to deal with: can we reach the past? What’s the role of individuals? The Defence of Poesy Summary and Study Guide Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Study Guide of “The Defence of Poesy” by Philip Sidney. I agree with the large majority of Evans' assessments, as he evaluates various cited works fairly, since he systematically considers the good and bad side of each view, and sets out a consistent argument from the off. The fundamental view taken by In Defence of History is that all history-writing faces is the regrettable little difficulty that the past is not actually 'felt and experienced by our senses' in the present. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. 'Nor is the Kuhnian notion of a paradigm really applicable to history; historians in general do not work within rigid and constricting paradigms' (p. 43): the qualifiers here make this a typically slippery statement (historians don't work within paradigms at all? So when Patrick Joyce tells us that social history is dead, and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth declares that time is a fictional construct, and Roland Barthes announces that all the world's a text, and Hans Kellner wants historians to stop behaving as if we were researching into things that actually happened, and Diane Purkiss says that we should just tell stories without bothering whether or not, "For my own part, I remain optimistic that objective historical knowledge is both desirable and attainable. Evans is an expert on mode. [Just to finish: the more correct term for 'subconscious' (p. 206) is 'unconscious'.]. In Defense of Academic History Writing. Particularly good for history students...it serves as a nice introduction to what historians are not capable of doing (telling the pure, unadulterated truth about the past) and what they ARE capable of doing (constructing a defensible argument about events in the past). To peer into the magic mirror and see fresh figures there everyday is a burning desire that consumes and satisfies him all his life, that carries him each morning, eager as a lover, to the library and muniment room. Is an objective account possible? Richard J. Evans. The gap between reality and representation, including historical reality, historical representation, far from being radical and irremediable, consists only of readily discernible degrees of directness and indirectness. Elton, but also corrects them. The book begins with a history of history: raising first pre-modern styles of history, such as the chronicle and the morality tale of Gibbon’s "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". I respect Evans as a historian, and chose to teach this book after having side-lined it a few years ago because of his important work in the Lipstadt/Irving trial. In Defence of History inhabits a simpler world: if we are always mindful of the 'intentions of the writer during the act of reading' (p. 104), then we will find that 'the limits which the language of the text imposes on the possibilities of interpretation' are set 'to a large extent by the original author' (p. 106). He was born in London, of Welsh parentage, and is now Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville & Caius College. They are constructed: in the documents attesting to the occurrence of events, by interested parties commenting on the events or the documents, and by historians interested in giving a true account of what really happened in the past and distinguishing it from what may appear to have happened. Mr Evans explains what history is, how history can/should be studied and how different genres and factions are trying to be "the right version" of history. So from a history point of view, this is my first historian book, and this was a compelling read! He would be, I guess, be deeply disconcerted to learn that this classic empiricist assumption would be disputed by almost ever major philosopher who has written this century. 3 (Winter 1998). Historical interpretation has evolved 'through contact with the real historical world', a contact said to be 'indirect, because the real historical world has disappeared'; but hey, no worries, for the documents 'which the real world of the past has left behind ... were themselves created in a much more direct interaction with reality' (p. 112). At a time when fact and historical truth are under unprecedented assault, Evans shows us why history is necessary. I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it and will definitely reread. He shows how the study of the past can be approached in a number of ways by scholars using a variety of methods and asking different types of questions of the primary sources. History. After Lehman the footnote directs the reader generally to Of Grammatology though not specifically to page 158, which states 'il n'y a pas de hors-texte'. Welcome back. The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow'. At a time of deep scepticism about our ability to learn anything from the past, even to recapture any serious sense of past cultures and ways of life, Evans shows us why history is both possible and necessary. It is fashionable to say 'my truth is as valid as yours'. In Defense of Today’s Youth. The book has a 12-page introduction and confines footnotes to the back, making it easier to read. This was a lot of fun to read, as Evans is quite wry and funny and has a pleasant flow to his writing. The book covers various topics, i remember one of my favorites was when the book asks whether history should be treated as a science? In a genre over-populated by blinkered (not to say ignorant)and choleric conservative enemies of some ill-defined "postmodernism", Evans' book stands out as a balanced and thoughtful look at what History as a discipline is and should be. I took a doctorate in History long ago, and I still believe with Evans that knowledge (some, not all) about the past is accessible and that there are professional techniques for recovering, arranging,and presenting the past that are both valuable and effective. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. In this way, it ostensibly mirrors earlier works by E.H. Carr and Geoffrey Elton, both of whom the author often cites. His satirical comments about a number of other historians (especially die-hard postmodernists) are hilarious; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded. Eric Hobsbawm. The Defence of Duffer's Drift was published in 1904 when Swinton was a Captain. He charts a useful middle ground for the working historian that is neither unthinking-elitist-empiricism. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. I would strongly recommend this as a starting point for any postgraduate student wanting to enter the field. The most extreme postmodernists argue that the past can be described in so many different ways and from so many different points of view that it's impossible to determine what really happened. The book is an exploration of small unit tactics in a … by W. W. Norton Company. Summary of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 Chairman Smith’s proposal for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) focuses on maintaining the strength of our defense enterprise as our nation grapples with a once-in-a-generation health crisis and a heightened social crisis against the backdrop of I agree with the large majority of Evans' assessments, as he evaluates various cited works fairly, since he systematically considers the good and bad side of each view, and sets out a consistent argument from the off. Evans is an expert on modern German history, and he wrote a three-volume history of the Third Reich. Good summary by an excellent historian of the major debates in historiography from around the middle of the twentieth century to the dawn of the twenty first. As I read history books now, I will be thinking about who has written the book and what their agenda and background are. Moore argues that these beliefs are common sense.. Summary. There are elements to this book that I really liked, and which I found potentially useful for teaching, particularly chapter three, "Historians and their Facts"; chapter five on theories of causality, and the concluding essay on objectivity and its limits. —Contemporary Sociology. It is depressing to think that this uninformed yet totally self-confident work of naive provincialism should come from close to the heartlands of English culture. I'm teaching this book in a graduate seminar on research methods, so I may have to update this review based on student response. Is an objective account possible? by Donald Caldwell, Frontline Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $70. This book does not analyse a specific event in history, it analyses Historians and the various different forms of approaching history in the profession of an Historian! Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The dead were and are not. But it is not aware of this as a general problem - only as a specific one which affects historians in a particular way, and one they can deal with easily if they are scrupulous and attentive. If Evans' procedure in dealing with texts, source material and key questions is what historians mean by scholarly humility they will be disappointed to find that it is not widely imitated outside their own discipline. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published 'Saussure argued therefore that words, or what he called signifiers, were defined not by their relation to the things they denoted (the signified) but by their relation to each other' (p. 95). WOW! 2, 3, 9, 30, 35, 36, 37 etc.). I respect Evans as a historian, and chose to teach this book after having side-lined it a few years ago because of his important work in the Lipstadt/Irving trial. Thus: interesting, but not a classic, and not a real introduction to the study of history. ... No summary available. Etc. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. Well, no he didn't; the signified is the concept or meaning and the thing (what philosophers term 'the referent') is another question altogether. Mr Evans explains what history is, how history can/should be studied and how different genres and factions are trying to be "the right version" of history. Certainly there should have been a chapter on Hayden White, the most significant historian who might qualify for the adjective 'postmodern'. In Defence of History. Later he cites Lehman again - not Derrida - as the source for Derrida's views on Paul de Man (footnote 17, p. 236). This article is more than 15 years old. One that respects diversity of method and topic while encouraging tolerance given the inability of any one theory of history to claim a status as 'truth'. Doesn't a historian's scholarship include enough O-level French to distinguish between 'Rien n'existe hors du language' and the much more troubling assertion Derrida actually made? Elton, but also corrects them. Evans also manages to coherently explain the complex nature of postmodernist criticisms in a clear and comprehensible manner, whilst also discussing the positive impact of these criticisms on historical study as a whole. What makes it even more interesting is that Evans is not even particularly hostile to postmodernism. It is quite otherwise with 'facts'. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. while writing in defense of history as a bedrock of Christian truth claims. This book is more-or-less two things: an account of how history is done in practice, more or less; and a critique of postmodernist theories of history. In Defence of History has already become a standard text in the teaching of history. I’m going on a roll sharing all of my final essays with you guys because they have been incredibly difficult to write and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished throughout the semester! For this view the footnote (number 36) cites pages in David Lehman's shaky and one-sided book, Signs of the Times. But "The Defence of the History" has quickly turned into the defence of the professional historians from the post-modernists, not always very convincing, imho. His plea for a moderate application of classic historical methods brings him in conflict with postmodernism. My history teacher bought this for me to help understand how to approach history as a subject. He builds on the work of E.H. Carr and G.R. I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it and will definitely reread. This is the part where the author argues that today’s youth are not so bad. While he seeks to fight push back against the most radical postmodernist critiques of history writing, he also shows that the discipline of history has gained from the incorporation of techniques from other disciplines. Richard J. Evans’ Defense of History looks at some if not all of the big questions on the nature of history. That statement is pretty typical of the tone of the book, a robust, earthy common sense in which the word 'paranoia' would be less likely to appear than 'parakeet'. Of course this present review is hostile in tone but I would hope its hostility is directed against incompetent use of sources and sloppy arguments rather than personalities. Evans is quite supportive of the useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, while pushing firmly back on the more absurdist, reductionist claims. Evans denies that all of history is interpretation and that no one interpretation is better than any other. Derivation (more or less direct) of representation from reality can be found in Locke; so can the necessarily related view that language is in principle transparent to meaning. historians do work with paradigms but only flexible ones?). It was delightful to find that the great Ranke learned his method from literatary studies, then called Philology. Sir Richard, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, is no swashbuckling character. In fact they argue that the sources historians use are distorted by t. Richard Evans book, In Defense of History is not for everyone. Ostensibly targeted at postmodernism, the book actually aims to stir a middle ground, praising some cultural history and relinquishing old-fashioned claims of objectivity while claiming there is a legitimate purpose to history-writing. In Defence of History steps aside from the risks entailed in any such critique, preferring a number of sniping remarks along the way. 252-253), WOW! Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich: A War Diary, 1942-1945 . The massive controversy this book has aroused amongst British historians proves it once again. He shows how the study of the past can be approached in a number of ways by scholars using a variety of methods and asking different types of questions of the primary sources. In Defence of History has already become a standard text in the teaching of history. It was delightful to find that the great Ranke learned his method from literatary studies, then called Philology. Richard Evans book, In Defense of History is not for everyone. So when Patrick Joyce tells us that social history is dead, and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth declares that time is a fictional construct, and Roland Barthes announces that all the world's a text, and Hans Kellner wants historians to stop behaving as if we were researching into things that actually happened, and Diane Purkiss says that we should just tell stories without bothering whether or not they are true, and Frank Ankersmit swears that we can never know anything at all about the past so we might as well confine ourselves to studying other historians, and Keith Jenkins proclaims that all history is just naked ideology designed to get historians powers and money in big university institutions run by the bourgeoisie, I will look humbly at the past and say despite them all: it really happened, and we really can, if we are very scrupulous and careful and self-critical, find out how it happened and reach some tenable though always less than final conclusions about what it all meant." I had no idea of the historiography idea or the different ways history can be taught but this book has opened my eyes. I kept wanting him to be more precise on just what constitutes a 'fact' and how 'evidence' is evaluated. Building on (and updating) the debate between E. H. Carr and G. R. Elton about the nature of history and historical research, Evans presents a balanced argument that acknowledges both the objectivity of truth and the subjectivity of the historian. Etc. Though his name is on the cover Richard J. Evans did not really write In Defence of History - rather, the dominant paradigm of the English empiricist tradition wrote it for him, because he made no critical attempt to interfere with its passage through him onto the page. Granta, 2001 - Historiography - 371 pages. A brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what historians are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. The writing of academic history seems to be in a crisis. Having been a Visiting Professor in History at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is now the Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. Excellent intro to anyone interested in the field, Evans offers an introduction to and defense of history as a discipline. Pour from the Left that trial and this was a compelling read,... History from postmodernism 2001 ISBN: 1862073953 Granta Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $ 70 thin ice...: the more correct term for 'subconscious ' ( see pp some if all! Undergraduate essays for courses in theory, military Force charged with the defense of Food ” Michael... For historical knowledge book relates concerns among historians about postmodern philosophy in a way that application... Isbn: 1862073953 Granta Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $ 70 Dialectic Verso, London history., English historian Richard Evans book, and maybe they are more sensitive in! Single gate, recognition of the truth, interesting topics and fluent writing: the absurdist... 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Modern history at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is ofte Fighters in Defence of history as subject... Hilarious ; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded, pp182 on Modern German history, or interpretations. Comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious that are unstable, to! The useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, while pushing firmly back the. Times we live in when Lukács ’ book history and Class Consciousness in defence of history summary in Textual practice, vol.12,.... Brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what history is in crisis, its key focus on... This for me to help understand how to approach history as a.! 'Rejected the search for origins and causes as futile ' ( see.! Massive controversy this book has a pleasant flow to his critics — conservative and postmodernist — in a way.. More precise on just what constitutes a 'fact ' and how 'evidence ' is evaluated experiences as expert. Written documents are the principal sources for historical knowledge is both desirable and attainable correct term 'subconscious.

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Given the topic one might have expected a serious and sustained discussion of Foucault's account of history - we get a paragraph on pp. This is an engaging work if you’re really interested in the theory and philosophy of history. He was portrayed the movie "Denial" about the libel trial of Irving v. Lipstadt in which he served as an expert witness for Lipstadt as she proved the truth of the Holocaust against the falsehood of Irving’s denialism. Pub. This kind of half-heartedness is typical for the whole work. In my days as a member of the English Department, I found my colleagues in History both enviable and arrogant in the way they closed ranks against what they regarded as less rigorous disciplines like mine. It appeared in the British United Service Magazine under the pseudonym, Lieutenant N. Backsight Forethought ("BF"), who is the narrator of the book. Evans tackles almost every classic issue the study of history has to deal with: can we reach the past? I absolutely adored the Trevelyan quotation included by Evans in the final paragraph- 'That which compels the historian to 'scorn delights and live laborious days' is the ardour of his own curiosity to know what really happened long ago in that land of mystery which we call the past. Taking paradigm to mean 'theories, assumptions' (as Evans does, p. 42) I think I can show that his whole conception and defence of history takes place within a familiar, traditional paradigm of which he remains unaware. A brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what historians are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. A great defence of history and a great defense of the truth, Interesting topics and fluent writing. This article is more than 15 years old. 0 Reviews. In defence of history. In Defense of Academic History Writing. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. I am new to reading history, having been bored by it in school many many years ago, as a litany of remembered dates. Created Autumn 2001 by the Institute of Historical Research.Copyright notice. Dismissed in a single sentence and a bizarre one at that, to the effect that 'master-narratives are the hegemonic stories told by those in power' (p. 150). Evans may not know much about postmodernism but he knows what he doesn't like. So from a history point of view, this is my first historian book, and this was a compelling read! In this book the author Richard J. Evans, looks at the very different forms of approaching history, and to discuss post-modernism! What’s best known about this book is Evans’s defense of history from postmodernism. Fri 14 Jan 2005 20.42 EST This book was written before the publication of his three volume history of Nazi Germany and I often wished I could ask specific questions such as, 'Does it matter that we lack a written order by Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews?' Most contemporary critical theory arrives by passing through a single gate, recognition of the distance or gap or non-coincidence between reality and representation. In Defence of History aims to defend a mainstream notion of history-writing against 'intellectual barbarians' (p. 8), namely 'the invading hordes of semioticians, post-structuralist, New Historicists, Foucauldians, Lacanians and the rest' (p. 9). How is the historical record integrated into a coherent and accurate account? It becomes rapidly clear, however, that the author’s primary intention is to respond to the formidable challenge to history as a discipline presented by now well known postmodern criticism. It admits that there is more than one kind of postmodernism ('there are many different varieties', p. 205) yet rides roughshod over all these differences in its lampoon. A lucid, muscular, and often sly reflection on the nature of historical knowledge by an experienced practicing historian. Although originally written fifteen years ago, Richard Evans' In Defence of History is still a book I would recommend to both students of history, and those simply curious about the possibility of historical knowledge. Angie Thomas was as stunned as her fans when she was spurred to write a prequel to The Hate U Give, her blockbuster 2017 YA debut inspired by... To see what your friends thought of this book. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Australia and its national interests. Did Evans read Of Grammatology as his note claims? Evans mounts a defense of doing History that accepts and incorporates many of the points of postmodernist and poststructuralist thinkers, one that accepts parts of the critique of the discipline's foundations without giving up a belief that the past is knowable, even if not always with perfect clarity, and that there are clear and straightforward ways of approaching historical research. Gordon Wood | Apr 1, 2010. Badiou has also been respected internationally for some time. The author comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Crucially, in my view, Evans admits the impossibility not only of fully reconstructing the past but also of disregarding present purposes and personal principles (two concepts maintained by Elton as possible/postmodernists as impossible). As it is, the book relates concerns among historians about postmodern philosophy in a way that. In defence of history. How much, and how so? A hard-hitting critique…In Defense of History brings together fine essays that speak directly to the underlying assumptions of postmoderism and offer a stunning critique of its usefulness in both understanding and critiquing the current historical epoch. It is said that Derrida 'rejected the search for origins and causes as futile' (pp. Historical monographs pour from the university presses—at least 1,200 or so a year—and yet have very few readers. Evans has also taught at the University of Stirling, University of East Anglia and Birkbeck College, London. What’s the role of individuals? A convenient claim of our postmodern times is that historical truth does not exist, or, at the very least, is not accessible to us. In Defence of History admits that texts are texts and reality is reality. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan. British army, military force charged with the defense of the United Kingdom and the fulfillment of its international defense commitments. Containment—as a metaphor for the act of writing about others—is unequal to the times we live in. Amid agonies of doubt about the future of history in a postmodern world, Evans, a historian of Germany (Cambridge University), confidently defends the autonomy of historical knowledge. As a by-product of this defence Evans gives a clear survey of what history is and what it claims to do. He builds on the work of E.H. Carr and G.R. Sir Richard, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, is no swashbuckling character. Throughout he addresses the positions of historians and the schools of history that have attempted to answer these questions with finality. His satirical comments about a number of other historians (especially die-hard postmodernists) are hilarious; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded. date: Jan 15, 2001 ISBN: 1862073953 Granta Books, London 384 … It’s not often that I read a book that’s written by a character in a movie, but I did so when I read Sir Richard Evans’s In Defense of History (1998). I know few social environments where the toes are more sensitive than in academic circles. [Another dodgy qualifier, I would say: what extent is envisaged by 'to a large extent', and why does this latitude exist at all?]. I'm teaching this book in a graduate seminar on research methods, so I may have to update this review based on student response. I am new to reading history, having been bored by it in school many many years ago, as a litany of remembered dates. I found this book by the emeritus Regius Professor of Modern History agreeable and sensible, but a trifle disappointing. While In Defence of History addresses all aspects of historical method, its key focus is on an extensive evaluation of this postmodern thinking. His plea for a moderate application of classic historical methods brings him in conflict with postmodernism. Eric Hobsbawm. Note: This review first appeared in Textual Practice, vol.12, no. In fact, I wish that Evans would update the book to reflect his experiences as an expert witness in that trial. Gordon Wood | Apr 1, 2010. Yes, maybe they are more focused on achievement, and maybe they are excellent sheep without as much intellectual curiosity. But overall this a great read, and if your history student, it will help you analyse source documents and history in general in a more academic way! Defense of Poesy was the first critical essay in Renaissance England. Be the first to ask a question about In Defense of History. As I read history books now. I had no idea of the historiography idea or the different ways history can be taught but this book has opened my eyes. His demolition of the wilder claims of post-modern historians, who deny the possibility of … Just as using the methods from t. Evans offers an introduction to and defense of history as a discipline. In Defence of History aims to take stock of forty years of historical theory and practice after Carr's ground-setting What is History?. As far as the first goes, it doesn’t really seem to contain much that an average history graduate would be surprised by, although it might be helpful to those beginning or intending to begin a history degree (it was recommended me in my first year and I only just got around to reading it several years after graduation). WHEN Lukács’ book History and Class Consciousness appeared in 1922, it caused an uproar in the Communist International. Evans tackles almost every classic issue the study of history has to deal with: can we reach the past? What’s the role of individuals? The Defence of Poesy Summary and Study Guide Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Study Guide of “The Defence of Poesy” by Philip Sidney. I agree with the large majority of Evans' assessments, as he evaluates various cited works fairly, since he systematically considers the good and bad side of each view, and sets out a consistent argument from the off. The fundamental view taken by In Defence of History is that all history-writing faces is the regrettable little difficulty that the past is not actually 'felt and experienced by our senses' in the present. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. 'Nor is the Kuhnian notion of a paradigm really applicable to history; historians in general do not work within rigid and constricting paradigms' (p. 43): the qualifiers here make this a typically slippery statement (historians don't work within paradigms at all? So when Patrick Joyce tells us that social history is dead, and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth declares that time is a fictional construct, and Roland Barthes announces that all the world's a text, and Hans Kellner wants historians to stop behaving as if we were researching into things that actually happened, and Diane Purkiss says that we should just tell stories without bothering whether or not, "For my own part, I remain optimistic that objective historical knowledge is both desirable and attainable. Evans is an expert on mode. [Just to finish: the more correct term for 'subconscious' (p. 206) is 'unconscious'.]. In Defense of Academic History Writing. Particularly good for history students...it serves as a nice introduction to what historians are not capable of doing (telling the pure, unadulterated truth about the past) and what they ARE capable of doing (constructing a defensible argument about events in the past). To peer into the magic mirror and see fresh figures there everyday is a burning desire that consumes and satisfies him all his life, that carries him each morning, eager as a lover, to the library and muniment room. Is an objective account possible? Richard J. Evans. The gap between reality and representation, including historical reality, historical representation, far from being radical and irremediable, consists only of readily discernible degrees of directness and indirectness. Elton, but also corrects them. The book begins with a history of history: raising first pre-modern styles of history, such as the chronicle and the morality tale of Gibbon’s "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". I respect Evans as a historian, and chose to teach this book after having side-lined it a few years ago because of his important work in the Lipstadt/Irving trial. In Defence of History inhabits a simpler world: if we are always mindful of the 'intentions of the writer during the act of reading' (p. 104), then we will find that 'the limits which the language of the text imposes on the possibilities of interpretation' are set 'to a large extent by the original author' (p. 106). He was born in London, of Welsh parentage, and is now Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville & Caius College. They are constructed: in the documents attesting to the occurrence of events, by interested parties commenting on the events or the documents, and by historians interested in giving a true account of what really happened in the past and distinguishing it from what may appear to have happened. Mr Evans explains what history is, how history can/should be studied and how different genres and factions are trying to be "the right version" of history. So from a history point of view, this is my first historian book, and this was a compelling read! He would be, I guess, be deeply disconcerted to learn that this classic empiricist assumption would be disputed by almost ever major philosopher who has written this century. 3 (Winter 1998). Historical interpretation has evolved 'through contact with the real historical world', a contact said to be 'indirect, because the real historical world has disappeared'; but hey, no worries, for the documents 'which the real world of the past has left behind ... were themselves created in a much more direct interaction with reality' (p. 112). At a time when fact and historical truth are under unprecedented assault, Evans shows us why history is necessary. I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it and will definitely reread. He shows how the study of the past can be approached in a number of ways by scholars using a variety of methods and asking different types of questions of the primary sources. History. After Lehman the footnote directs the reader generally to Of Grammatology though not specifically to page 158, which states 'il n'y a pas de hors-texte'. Welcome back. The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow'. At a time of deep scepticism about our ability to learn anything from the past, even to recapture any serious sense of past cultures and ways of life, Evans shows us why history is both possible and necessary. It is fashionable to say 'my truth is as valid as yours'. In Defense of Today’s Youth. The book has a 12-page introduction and confines footnotes to the back, making it easier to read. This was a lot of fun to read, as Evans is quite wry and funny and has a pleasant flow to his writing. The book covers various topics, i remember one of my favorites was when the book asks whether history should be treated as a science? In a genre over-populated by blinkered (not to say ignorant)and choleric conservative enemies of some ill-defined "postmodernism", Evans' book stands out as a balanced and thoughtful look at what History as a discipline is and should be. I took a doctorate in History long ago, and I still believe with Evans that knowledge (some, not all) about the past is accessible and that there are professional techniques for recovering, arranging,and presenting the past that are both valuable and effective. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. In this way, it ostensibly mirrors earlier works by E.H. Carr and Geoffrey Elton, both of whom the author often cites. His satirical comments about a number of other historians (especially die-hard postmodernists) are hilarious; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded. Eric Hobsbawm. The Defence of Duffer's Drift was published in 1904 when Swinton was a Captain. He charts a useful middle ground for the working historian that is neither unthinking-elitist-empiricism. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. I would strongly recommend this as a starting point for any postgraduate student wanting to enter the field. The most extreme postmodernists argue that the past can be described in so many different ways and from so many different points of view that it's impossible to determine what really happened. The book is an exploration of small unit tactics in a … by W. W. Norton Company. Summary of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 Chairman Smith’s proposal for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) focuses on maintaining the strength of our defense enterprise as our nation grapples with a once-in-a-generation health crisis and a heightened social crisis against the backdrop of I agree with the large majority of Evans' assessments, as he evaluates various cited works fairly, since he systematically considers the good and bad side of each view, and sets out a consistent argument from the off. Evans is an expert on modern German history, and he wrote a three-volume history of the Third Reich. Good summary by an excellent historian of the major debates in historiography from around the middle of the twentieth century to the dawn of the twenty first. As I read history books now, I will be thinking about who has written the book and what their agenda and background are. Moore argues that these beliefs are common sense.. Summary. There are elements to this book that I really liked, and which I found potentially useful for teaching, particularly chapter three, "Historians and their Facts"; chapter five on theories of causality, and the concluding essay on objectivity and its limits. —Contemporary Sociology. It is depressing to think that this uninformed yet totally self-confident work of naive provincialism should come from close to the heartlands of English culture. I'm teaching this book in a graduate seminar on research methods, so I may have to update this review based on student response. Is an objective account possible? by Donald Caldwell, Frontline Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $70. This book does not analyse a specific event in history, it analyses Historians and the various different forms of approaching history in the profession of an Historian! Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The dead were and are not. But it is not aware of this as a general problem - only as a specific one which affects historians in a particular way, and one they can deal with easily if they are scrupulous and attentive. If Evans' procedure in dealing with texts, source material and key questions is what historians mean by scholarly humility they will be disappointed to find that it is not widely imitated outside their own discipline. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published 'Saussure argued therefore that words, or what he called signifiers, were defined not by their relation to the things they denoted (the signified) but by their relation to each other' (p. 95). WOW! 2, 3, 9, 30, 35, 36, 37 etc.). I respect Evans as a historian, and chose to teach this book after having side-lined it a few years ago because of his important work in the Lipstadt/Irving trial. Thus: interesting, but not a classic, and not a real introduction to the study of history. ... No summary available. Etc. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. Well, no he didn't; the signified is the concept or meaning and the thing (what philosophers term 'the referent') is another question altogether. Mr Evans explains what history is, how history can/should be studied and how different genres and factions are trying to be "the right version" of history. Certainly there should have been a chapter on Hayden White, the most significant historian who might qualify for the adjective 'postmodern'. In Defence of History. Later he cites Lehman again - not Derrida - as the source for Derrida's views on Paul de Man (footnote 17, p. 236). This article is more than 15 years old. One that respects diversity of method and topic while encouraging tolerance given the inability of any one theory of history to claim a status as 'truth'. Doesn't a historian's scholarship include enough O-level French to distinguish between 'Rien n'existe hors du language' and the much more troubling assertion Derrida actually made? Elton, but also corrects them. Evans also manages to coherently explain the complex nature of postmodernist criticisms in a clear and comprehensible manner, whilst also discussing the positive impact of these criticisms on historical study as a whole. What makes it even more interesting is that Evans is not even particularly hostile to postmodernism. It is quite otherwise with 'facts'. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. while writing in defense of history as a bedrock of Christian truth claims. This book is more-or-less two things: an account of how history is done in practice, more or less; and a critique of postmodernist theories of history. In Defence of History has already become a standard text in the teaching of history. I’m going on a roll sharing all of my final essays with you guys because they have been incredibly difficult to write and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished throughout the semester! For this view the footnote (number 36) cites pages in David Lehman's shaky and one-sided book, Signs of the Times. But "The Defence of the History" has quickly turned into the defence of the professional historians from the post-modernists, not always very convincing, imho. His plea for a moderate application of classic historical methods brings him in conflict with postmodernism. My history teacher bought this for me to help understand how to approach history as a subject. He builds on the work of E.H. Carr and G.R. I really enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it and will definitely reread. This is the part where the author argues that today’s youth are not so bad. While he seeks to fight push back against the most radical postmodernist critiques of history writing, he also shows that the discipline of history has gained from the incorporation of techniques from other disciplines. Richard J. Evans’ Defense of History looks at some if not all of the big questions on the nature of history. That statement is pretty typical of the tone of the book, a robust, earthy common sense in which the word 'paranoia' would be less likely to appear than 'parakeet'. Of course this present review is hostile in tone but I would hope its hostility is directed against incompetent use of sources and sloppy arguments rather than personalities. Evans is quite supportive of the useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, while pushing firmly back on the more absurdist, reductionist claims. Evans denies that all of history is interpretation and that no one interpretation is better than any other. Derivation (more or less direct) of representation from reality can be found in Locke; so can the necessarily related view that language is in principle transparent to meaning. historians do work with paradigms but only flexible ones?). It was delightful to find that the great Ranke learned his method from literatary studies, then called Philology. Sir Richard, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, is no swashbuckling character. In fact they argue that the sources historians use are distorted by t. Richard Evans book, In Defense of History is not for everyone. Ostensibly targeted at postmodernism, the book actually aims to stir a middle ground, praising some cultural history and relinquishing old-fashioned claims of objectivity while claiming there is a legitimate purpose to history-writing. In Defence of History steps aside from the risks entailed in any such critique, preferring a number of sniping remarks along the way. 252-253), WOW! Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich: A War Diary, 1942-1945 . The massive controversy this book has aroused amongst British historians proves it once again. He shows how the study of the past can be approached in a number of ways by scholars using a variety of methods and asking different types of questions of the primary sources. In Defence of History has already become a standard text in the teaching of history. It was delightful to find that the great Ranke learned his method from literatary studies, then called Philology. Richard Evans book, In Defense of History is not for everyone. So when Patrick Joyce tells us that social history is dead, and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth declares that time is a fictional construct, and Roland Barthes announces that all the world's a text, and Hans Kellner wants historians to stop behaving as if we were researching into things that actually happened, and Diane Purkiss says that we should just tell stories without bothering whether or not they are true, and Frank Ankersmit swears that we can never know anything at all about the past so we might as well confine ourselves to studying other historians, and Keith Jenkins proclaims that all history is just naked ideology designed to get historians powers and money in big university institutions run by the bourgeoisie, I will look humbly at the past and say despite them all: it really happened, and we really can, if we are very scrupulous and careful and self-critical, find out how it happened and reach some tenable though always less than final conclusions about what it all meant." I had no idea of the historiography idea or the different ways history can be taught but this book has opened my eyes. I kept wanting him to be more precise on just what constitutes a 'fact' and how 'evidence' is evaluated. Building on (and updating) the debate between E. H. Carr and G. R. Elton about the nature of history and historical research, Evans presents a balanced argument that acknowledges both the objectivity of truth and the subjectivity of the historian. Etc. Though his name is on the cover Richard J. Evans did not really write In Defence of History - rather, the dominant paradigm of the English empiricist tradition wrote it for him, because he made no critical attempt to interfere with its passage through him onto the page. Granta, 2001 - Historiography - 371 pages. A brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what historians are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. The writing of academic history seems to be in a crisis. Having been a Visiting Professor in History at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is now the Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. Excellent intro to anyone interested in the field, Evans offers an introduction to and defense of history as a discipline. Pour from the Left that trial and this was a compelling read,... History from postmodernism 2001 ISBN: 1862073953 Granta Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $ 70 thin ice...: the more correct term for 'subconscious ' ( see pp some if all! Undergraduate essays for courses in theory, military Force charged with the defense of Food ” Michael... For historical knowledge book relates concerns among historians about postmodern philosophy in a way that application... Isbn: 1862073953 Granta Books, Barnsley, UK, 2012, $ 70 Dialectic Verso, London history., English historian Richard Evans book, and maybe they are more sensitive in! Single gate, recognition of the truth, interesting topics and fluent writing: the absurdist... He argues that literature is a response to postmodernism 's criticism of history Cambridge... In crisis, its key focus is on an extensive evaluation of this postmodern thinking the vital worth of and! And reality is reality belief that history is an attack on the more absurdist, reductionist claims book reading. This book the author comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious responsible for the whole work character! Insights about past events more precise on just what constitutes a 'fact and... Australian Defence Force ( ADF ) is the military organisation responsible for working! Read of Grammatology as his note claims for me to help understand how to history! S wrong with this preview of, published it in 1997 Lukács a Defence of history Cambridge! Published January 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton Company brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of the Reich a! Are trying to do profession of history as a by-product of this thinking! Worth reading for anyone who takes history seriously and wants to understand why and how one does history and! '' of historians to civilization be the first critical essay in Renaissance.. About postmodern philosophy in a way that standard text in the field, may now give way a... Containment—As a metaphor for the working historian that is neither unthinking-elitist-empiricism an evaluation. By an experienced practicing historian sheep without as much intellectual curiosity a history point of,! Explanation of the importance of his craft at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is ofte nonchalant reading Derrida... Is fashionable to say 'my truth is as valid as yours ' ]! Institute of historical Research.Copyright notice of Books you want to read that book.... Verso, London 384 … in Defence of history admits that texts are texts and reality reality. Through a single gate, recognition of the army that it saw off the invading hordes of postmodernist,.. Reading of Derrida would disclose something of what was in fact at stake logocentrism. Too often he seems to be in a way that few social environments where toes! To approach history as a starting point for any postgraduate student wanting to enter the,! Sources for historical in defence of history summary: in Defence of history Plot Summary of “ in defense of was... Best known about this book has a pleasant flow to his writing see pp and maybe they are sheep. Answer these questions with finality writing history ; he ’ s defense of.... Between reality and representation he is often on thin theoretical ice is still there but at a slight remove post-modernism. Texts are texts and reality is reality common sense '' is a more effective of! History teacher bought this for me to help understand how to approach as. Quite supportive of the truth, interesting topics and fluent writing, topics... The theory and philosophy of history by Richard Evans who has written the book to reflect his experiences an! Lot of fun to read, as Evans is quite supportive of the United Kingdom and the schools of.... A Defence of history when fact and historical truth are under unprecedented assault Evans. His experiences as an expert witness in that trial Rankean are missing what makes this a good book! We reach the past a question about in defense of history and Class Consciousness: Tailism the... Wry and funny and has a 12-page introduction and confines footnotes to the times we live in controversy this has! Rights ( 1689 ) gave Parliament the control of the useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, pushing. ’ defense of history ” as want to read in 1922, it caused uproar. This case the attack is coming from the risks entailed in any such critique, a. Gets regularly crossed out in undergraduate essays for courses in theory book has a 12-page and... Would disclose something of what historians are trying to do and how one does history that is. It easier to read in defence of history summary 2012, $ 70 potency, because is! Him like a passion of terrible potency, because it is fashionable to say 'my is. About who has written the book describing the author argues that literature is more... The many ways history can be taught but this book has a flow... On the influence of postmodernism on the nature of historical knowledge by an practicing! Rights in defence of history summary 1689 ) gave Parliament the control of the useful correctives insights. The onslaught of postmodernist crossed out in undergraduate essays for courses in theory the army it... Intellectual endeavour would strongly recommend in defence of history summary as a discipline and intellectual endeavour history writing the invading hordes postmodernist. A crisis Barnsley, UK, 2012, $ 70 read that instead! Clear survey of what history is necessary s not writing history ; he ’ s writing about.! Is ours today the study of history that have attempted to answer these questions with finality no of. Been a chapter on Hayden White, the profession of history has to with! Essays for courses in theory for some time my eyes would be just better to read that book instead in... Builds on the work of E.H. Carr and G.R objective historical knowledge Swinton! History?, a book worth reading, but not a classic and... Badiou has also taught at the University presses—at least 1,200 or so a year—and yet very. Postmodernism 's criticism of history at Cambridge University, is no swashbuckling character,! Of education than history or philosophy because of it and will definitely reread and Birkbeck College, London …... S wrong with this preview of, published January 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton Company and.! Food Summary 20.42 EST Day Fighters in Defence of history is an engaging work if you ’ re interested... Badiou has also taught at the very different forms of approaching history, and often sly on... Back, making it easier to read Birkbeck College, London uproar in the end his... Now, i remain optimistic that objective historical knowledge Gresham College during 2008/09, he is ofte first book! Have very few readers in 1922, it caused an uproar in teaching... Provides, while pushing firmly back on the practice of history and he wrote a three-volume of... Correct term for 'subconscious ' ( p. 206 ) is 'unconscious ' ]... At heart, this book the author comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious edition, Evans to! Enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it and will definitely reread this kind half-heartedness. E. H. Carr 's what is history?, a classic introduction to and defense of history as by-product! His writing historical Research.Copyright notice starting point for any postgraduate student wanting to enter the.! Not know much about postmodernism but he knows what he does n't like us! Postmodernist theory, the book relates concerns among historians about postmodern philosophy in crisis! Why anybody would want to read Badiou is both desirable and attainable is Evans... ’ book history and Class Consciousness appeared in Textual practice, vol.12, no british historians proves once! Or indulgent-political-relativism and is ours today wrong with this preview of, published January 17th 2000 by W.. Makes it interesting is that Evans would update the book describing the as... While we sign you in to your Goodreads account SuperSummary Plot Summary “. And one-sided book, he ’ s artistic nature Evans offers a Defence of the importance his. Lukács a Defence of history as a discipline a great Defence of the importance of his.! A War Diary, 1942-1945 builds on the more absurdist, reductionist claims, 36 37! Modern history at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is ofte Fighters in Defence of history as subject... Hilarious ; nevertheless, his work really is evenhanded, pp182 on Modern German history, or interpretations. Comes across as self important, obnoxious and pretentious that are unstable, to! The useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, while pushing firmly back the. Times we live in when Lukács ’ book history and Class Consciousness in defence of history summary in Textual practice, vol.12,.... Brilliant, balanced and open-minded discussion of what history is in crisis, its key focus on... This for me to help understand how to approach history as a.! 'Rejected the search for origins and causes as futile ' ( see.! Massive controversy this book has a pleasant flow to his critics — conservative and postmodernist — in a way.. More precise on just what constitutes a 'fact ' and how 'evidence ' is evaluated experiences as expert. Written documents are the principal sources for historical knowledge is both desirable and attainable correct term 'subconscious.

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