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Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past

Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195171570

Cover of Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past 02 (ISBN 978-0195171570)
ISBN13: 978-0195171570
ISBN10: 0195171578
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2002
International: No

List price: $15.95

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Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past - 02 edition

ISBN13: 978-0195171570

John Lewis Gaddis

ISBN13: 978-0195171570
ISBN10: 0195171578
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 02
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Published: 2002
International: No
Summary

The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. John Lewis Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy. Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past.