A History of Histories

A History of Histories

Epics, Chronicles, Romances, and Inquiries From Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
This unprecedented book by one of Britain’s most admired historians describes the intellectual impact that the study and consideration of history has had in the Western world over the past 2,500 years.

Treating the practice of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the culture of Europe and America, John Burrow magnificently brings to life and explains the distinctive qualities found in the work of historians from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the present, including Livy, Tacitus, Bede, Froissart, Clarendon, Gibbon, Macaulay, Michelet, Prescott and Parkman. The author sets out not to give us the history of academic discipline but a history of choices: the choice of pasts, and the ways they have been demarcated, investigated, presented and even sometimes learned from as they have changed according to political, religious, cultural, and (often most important) partisan and patriotic circumstances. Burrow aims, as well, to change our perceptions of the crucial turning points in the history of history, allowing the ideas that historians have had about both their own times and their founding civilizations to emerge with unexpected freshness.

Burrow argues that looking at the history of history is one of the most interesting ways we have to understand the past. Certainly, this volume stands alone in its ambition, scale and fascination.

Baker & Taylor
A critical analysis of the study of the past and its implications in the Western world, from ancient times to the present day, offers a close-up look at the work of individual historians--including Herodotus, Tacitus, Bede, Gibbon, and Parkman--and how they presented the past in terms of their individual perspectives, beliefs, circumstances, goals, and historical periods. 25,000 first printing.

Book News
Burrow (European thought, Oxford U.) does not construct a progression in the literary genre of Western history that leads, however circuitously, from ancient Greece to 21st-century Britain. Rather, he describes how certain historians went about their business, what they found interesting about their pasts and why, how they chose to represent that past, and how all of that related to their present lives and cultures. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

An analysis of the study of the past and its implications in the Western world, from ancient times to the present day, looks at the work of individual historians and how they presented the past in terms of their perspectives, beliefs, and historical periods.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780375413117
Branch Call Number: 907.2 BUR
Characteristics: xviii, 517 p. ; 25 cm


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