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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 2: What is History? •

What is History?

A portrait of Mao Zedong

Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years - Mao Zedong (1893-1976)

Bibliography (Books and Journals)

Books are listed by publisher. Select a publisher in the selection box below, or browse down the page.

History On-Line provides bibliographic information on books and journal articles published by UK academic publishers. The details below represents a selection of books and articles on historiography in History On-Line. Try searching History On-Line for additional information.


South Africa's Racial Past: The history and historiography of racism, segregation, and apartheid

Paul Maylam

A unique overview of the whole 350-year history of South Africa's racial order, from the mid-seventeenth century to the apartheid era. Maylam periodises this racial order, drawing out its main phases and highlighting the significant turning points. He also analyzes the dynamics of South African white racism, exploring the key forces and factors that brought about and perpetuated oppressive, discriminatory policies, practices, structures, laws and attitudes. There is also a strong historiographical dimension to the study. It shows how various writers have, from different perspectives, attempted to explain the South African racial order and draws out the political and ideological agendas that lay beneath these diverse interpretations. Essential reading for all those interested in the past, present and future of South Africa, this book also has implications for the wider study of race, racism and social and political ethnic relations.

Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series

Publication date: July 2001

Historiography of Europeans in Africa and Asia, 1450-1800
(An Expanding World: The European Impact on World History 1450-1800, Volume 4)

Edited by Anthony Disney

The first part of this volume deals with the changes and continuities in historical approaches over the last fifty years, with three further sections focusing on initial contacts, formal presences, and informal presences. Emphasis has been placed on the major European players in Asia and Africa before 1800 - the Portuguese, Dutch and English, without neglecting the role played by the French, Spanish, Scandinavians and others.

Publication date: December 1995

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Blackwell Publishers

History and Theory: Studies in the Philosophy of History

Executive Editor: Brian C. Fay and Richard T. Vann

Now in its fifth decade, History and Theory continues to lead the way in exploring the nature of history. Prominent, international thinkers contribute their reflections in the following areas: critical philosophy of history, speculative philosophy of history, historiography, history of historiography, historical methodology, critical theory, and time and culture. Related disciplines are also covered within the journal, including interactions between history and the natural and social sciences, the humanities, and psychology. Key Features: Includes articles, review essays, and summaries of new books - Publishes regular thematic issues.
ISSN: 0018-2656

Examples of articles from History and Theory:

Big Questions? Big History? Bruce Mazlish
Vol. 38, No. 2 (May 1999)

Forum on Comparative Historiography. Comparative Historiography: Problems and Perspectives. Chris Lorenz
Vol. 38, No. 1 (February 1999)

The Role of Logic and Aesthetics in Constructing Narrative Wholes in Historiography . Jerzy Topolski
Vol. 38, No. 2 (May 1999)

New Historicism: Postmodern Historiography Between Narrativism and Heterology. Jürgen Pieters
Vol. 39, No. 1(February 2000)

Details of recent issues

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Cambridge University Press

Medieval Concepts of the Past: Ritual, Memory, Historiography

Edited by Gerd Althoff, Johannes Fried, Patrick J. Geary

Medieval Concepts of the Past shows how the history of the Middle Ages is being reshaped by leading medieval historians in Germany and the United States in the light of cultural and social-scientific investigations into ritual, language, and memory. These two national traditions of medieval scholarship, which have been largely separated over the course of the twentieth century, are drawing closer together through a common interest in issues of social science and linguistic theory as applied to the representation of the past. This book marks a significant step in the reconvergence of these two historiographical traditions.

Publications of the German Historical Institute

Publication date: January 2002

America in the World: The Historiography of US Foreign Relations since 1941

Michael J. Hogan

This volume includes state-of-the-art essays and historiographical surveys of American foreign relations since 1941 by some of the country's leading diplomatic historians. The essays in part one offer sweeping overviews of the major trends in the field of diplomatic history. Part two features essays that survey the literature on US relations with particular regions of the world or on the foreign policies of presidential administrations. The result is the most comprehensive assessment of the literature on US foreign policy to be published in nearly twenty years.

Publication date: April 1996

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Writing Ancient History

Neville Morley

Aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students, this is the first book to discuss key debates in the theory and philosophy of history in relation to the practice of ancient history.

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Frank Cass

Frank Cass publish a number of journals which include articles on historiography. Examples of articles include:

The Historiography of Jewish Immigration to Argentina: Problems and Perspectives
Fabiana Sabina Tolcachier
Immigrants & Minorities - ISSN 0261-9288 - Issue 16.1 & 2

The Korean War: A 50-Year Critical Historiography
Allan R Millett
The Journal of Strategic Studies - ISSN 0140-2390 - Issue 24.1

Coming to Terms with Failed Revolutions: Historiography in Syria, Germany and France
Birgit Schaebler
Middle Eastern Studies - ISSN 0026-3206 - Volume 35.1

Review Essay: Israeli Historiography: Beyond the 'New Historians'
Neil Caplan
Israel Affairs - ISSN 1353-7121 - Issue 2.2

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Hodder Arnold

History in Practice

Ludmilla Jordanova

The study of history has changed dramatically in recent decades. The swiftness and scale of the shift is indisputable, but its precise nature as well as its implications remain hotly contested. This new study by one of the liveliest and most acute practitioners in the field, has a refreshing transparency, a determination to demystify what historians do. It looks at history as an academic discipline but also engages with the use of historical ideas in the wider world. It examines the way historians have 'divided up' their subject, how this has changed and with what effects. Why have certain fields, such as women's history and black history, generated such intense debates about their value and validity? Is there justification for the frequent characterisation of history as something of a jackdaw subject, with a tendency to appropriate theories and concepts from other areas? What is the nature of the links with adjacent fields, such as anthropology and literary theory? Issues such as these are part of the book's careful mapping of the theory and practice of history, exploring the discipline's breadth, its complexities, and the intellectual tasks it takes on. With a terrain that has changed so markedly in recent decades, it becomes all the more important to be clear about what historians do and why. Only with such awareness can history thrive and continue to play a central role both in the construction of modern identities and in the development of a critical understanding of human existence.

Publication date: February 2000
Read Dr Simon Ditchfield's review of History in Practice

History by Numbers: An Introduction to Quantitative Approaches

Pat Hudson

Quantitative history is an essential part of the wider armoury of historical methods. Pat Hudson emphasises the similarities between quantitative and qualitative approaches and their joint value in reconstructing the past. She explores the historian's problems in gathering reliable evidence and making decisions about suitable techniques, judging the acceptability of the results, and moving towards their interpretation. Various methods used in the display and analysis of data are clearly explained from the formation of figures, graphs, and tables to time series analysis, correlation and regression, sampling theory and practice, and econometric techniques. Computer-aided techniques are surveyed and there is an assessment of the impact of computers on research. The style is clear and inviting and the book assumes no prior statistical knowledge. Its problem-solving approach, drawing on current historical research in social, economic, and political history, demystifies quantitative skills and makes them accessible even to those unconfident about their aptitude for numbers.

Publication date: August 2000

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Longman History

Historians on History

John Tosh

This Reader brings together the key writings of the major historians of the last century. They illuminate the political, social and personal assumptions which have governed and sustained historical practice and theory. The book also brings into focus the key historiographic trends since World War Two. Key themes which are highlighted include: - The role of sources - The nation - Marxism - Radicalism - Structural history - Gender - Race - Statistics and economics Ranging widely from the earlier traditions and schools to the wake of postmodernism, authors represented include Braudel, Zeldin, Elton Carr, Hobsbawm, Joyce and Evans. This Reader provides the core reading for all History and Theory courses and will promote further debate across cognate disciplines including philosophy and literature.

Publication date: August 2000

Why bother with History

Beverley Southgate

Why Bother With History? argues for an increasingly important role for a revitalised historical study. Examining the motivations of past historians, the author rejects the ancient aspiration to a 'history for its own sake' and argues that historians' importance lies in their own adoption of a moral standpoint, from which a story of the past can be told, that facilitates the attainment of a future we desire. Inevitably controversial, in that it challenges many of the assumptions of modernist history, this is an interdisciplinary book, which draws in particular on psychology and literature.

Publication date: November 2000

Re-presenting the Past

Ann-Marie Gallagher, Louise Ryan and Cathy Lubelska

Feminist history continues to change the way history is written, and in doing so changes our view of the past. The authors of this collection explore how issues of sexuality, class, nationalism and colonialism informed the ways in which women were represented and continue to be represented in history. They show the ways in which women have been excluded, silenced and misrepresented in stories of the past, and how women's lives have been distorted or simplified in conventional historical accounts. Together, they suggest fresh ways of approaching women's history, and use examples of work in new areas of research such as women's health and leisure in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the various methodologies being proposed.

Publication date: August 2001

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Manchester University Press

The Houses of History

Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

The houses of history is a clear, jargon-free introduction to the major theoretical perspectives employed by twentieth-century historians. This innovative critical reader incorporates a wide range of approaches to the writing of history, giving accessible accounts of eleven 'schools' of thought ranging from the empiricist to the postcolonial, including Marxist history, psycho-history, the annales school of history, quantitative history, anthropology and history, narrative history, oral history, gender history and poststructuralism. Each chapter begins with a succinct description of the ideas integral to a particular theory; the authors then explore the insights and controversies arising from the application of this model. The principal contributors to the development of the school are identified, as are the major critics. The chapter concludes with a representative example from an historian writing within this framework. A short list of references gives a guide to further reading in each area. This new and up-to-date assessment of theory in history is the ideal basis for an introductory course in history and theory for students of history at all levels. 1. The empiricists; 2. Marxist historians; 3. Freud and psychohistory; 4. The Annales.; 5. Historical Sociology; 6. Quantative history; 7. Anthropology and ethnohistorians; 8. The question of narrative; 9. Memory and oral history; 10. Gender and history; 11. The challenge of poststructuralism/postmodernism; 12. Postcolonial perspectives

Publication date: December 1998


Carolyn Steedman

In this witty, engaging and challenging book, Carolyn Steedman has produced a highly original and sometimes irreverent investigation into how modern historiography has developed. Dust is about the practice and writing of history. Dust considers the immutable, stubborn set of beliefs about the material world, past and present, inherited from the nineteenth century, with which modern history writing attempts to grapple; and dust is the joke which structures this book. Drawing on over five years worth of her own published and unpublished writing, the author has produced a sustained argument about the way in which history writing belongs to the currents of thought shaping the modern world.

Publication date: December 2001

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Oxford University Press

British and German Historiography, 1750-1950: Traditions, Perceptions, and Transfers

Edited by Benedikt Stuchtey and Peter Wende

This volume compares British and German historiography from the Enlightenment to the middle of the twentieth century. It examines the scope and impact of intellectual transfers and throws light on the power and influence of national traditions. It documents the ways in which the British and German scholarly communities competed with and profited from each other. Studies of the German Historical Institute, London.

Publication date: June 2000

Greek Historiography

Edited by Simon Hornblower

Eight distinguished ancient historians consider both the Greek achievement in writing of history and the problems involved in the study of Greek historiography. Although the ancient Greeks set a standard in the writing of history that has been respected ever since, this achievement is becoming increasingly problematic in the light of recent work on such topics as literacy, orality, rhetoric, narrative technique, and the invention of tradition. These essays reflect the best and most recent scholarship on the subject.

Publication date: August 1996

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Marxism and History

Matt Perry

The first of the new Theory and History series, Matt Perry's punchy and accessible volume examines Marxism's enormous impact on the way historians approach their subject. Perry offers both a concise introduction to the Marxist view of history and Marxism historical writing, and a guide to its relevance to students' own work.

Publication date: February 2002

Student's Guide to History

Jules R Benjamin (8th Edition)

A Student's Guide to History discusses the central concepts and methods of the discipline, reviews basic study skills and provides detailed guidance on four major concerns for students: how to study for and take exams, how to write short papers and book reviews, how to formulate and research a history topic, how to write a research paper. Using textbooks effectively and conducting on-line research are additions to this popular study skills title.

Publication date: November 2000

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Phoenix Press

Three classic historical works by Eric Hobsbawm:

The Age of Revolution 1789-1848

Eric Hobsbawm

The French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution comprised the "Dual Revolution" that created the modern world. Re-issue of this classic by Britain's leading historian of the Left ". In an age of narrow specialists, Eric Hobsbawm remains the supreme generalist...for sheer intelligence he has no superior in the historical profession" - Keith Thomas, The Guardian.

Publication date: May 2000

The Age of Capital 1848

Eric Hobsbawm

In this second volume, Eric Hobsbawm continues his penetrating analysis of the rise of industrial capitalism and the consolidation of bourgeois culture. "His two great syntheses on the origins of the society we inhabit -the Age of Revolution and The Age of Capitalism - have become part of the mental furniture of educated Englishmen" - The Guardian

Publication date: May 2000

The Age of Empire 1875

Eric Hobsbawm

This third volume is about the strange death of the nineteenth century, the world made by and for liberal middle classes in the name of universal progress and civilization. A dazzling climax to Hosbawm's brilliant interpretative history of the long nineteenth century. "Among the finest piece of historical exposition that I have ever read" - Norman Stone.

Publication date: May 2000

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Modern Historiography: An Introduction

Michael Bentley

Modern Historiography is the essential introduction to the history of historical writing. It explains the broad philosophical background to the different historians and historical schools of the modern era. In a unique overview of modern historiography, the book includes surveys on: * the Enlightenment and Counter Enlightenment * Romanticism * the voice of Science and the process of secularization within Western intellectual thought * the influence of, and broadening contact with, the New World * the Annales school in France * the effects of the repression and exile of the inter-war years and the Post-War 'moods'. Modern Historiography provides a clear and concise account of this modern period of historical writing.

Published December 1998

Companion to Historiography

Edited by: Michael Bentley. Editorial Board: Gerald Aylmer and David Morgan

The Companion to Historiography represents an original analysis of the moods and trends in historical writing throughout its phases of development and explores the assumptions and procedures that have formed the creation of historical perspectives. Contributed by a distinguished panel of academics, each essay conveys in direct, jargon-free language a genuinely international, wide-angled view of the ideas, traditions and institutions that lie behind the contemporary urgency of world history. The thematic structure of the Companion enables topics to be read selectively or sequentially. Key Features * A unique exploration of Western, Asian and Oriental historiography * Specialist contributions by distinguished academics from across the globe draw on the authority of working historians and leading experts in related disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology and archaeology * Original and profound insights into world history through an awareness of its past formulations and emerging patterns * Over forty-five far-ranging essays, exploring diverse subjects such as Roman history today, medieval nobility, revisionism and modern India * Detailed information is easily accessible through the use of the Companion's extensive indexes and bibliographies.

Published June 1997

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Sage Publications

Sage Publications produce a number of journals which contain articles on historiography. For example:

Reflections on Periodisation in Arabic Historiography
Tarif Khalidi
The Medieval History Journal. Volume 1, no. 1, January - June 1998

Satish Chandra, Historiography, Religion and State in Medieval India
Shalin Jain
The Indian Economic and Social History Review. Volume 34, no. 3, July - September 1997

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Yale University Press

Faces of History: Historical Inquiry from Herodotus to Herder

Donald R. Kelley

In this book, one of the world's leading intellectual historians offers a critical survey of Western historical thought and writing from the pre-classical era to the late eighteenth century. Donald R. Kelley focuses on persistent themes and methodology, including questions of myth, national origins, chronology, language, literary forms, rhetoric, translation, historical method and criticism, theory and practice of interpretation, cultural studies, philosophy of history, and 'historicism'. Kelley begins by analyzing the dual tradition established by the foundational works of Greek historiography - Herodotus's broad cultural and antiquarian inquiry and the contrasting model of Thucydides' contemporary political and analytical narrative. He then examines the many variations on and departures from these themes produced in writings from Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian antiquity, in medieval chronicles, in national histories and revisions of history during the Renaissance and Reformation, and in the rise of erudite and enlightened history in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Throughout, Kelley discusses how later historians viewed their predecessors, including both supporters and detractors of the authors in question. The book, which is a companion volume to Kelley's highly praised anthology Versions of History from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, will be a valuable resource for scholars and students interested in interpretations of the past. Donald R. Kelley, James Westfall Thompson Professor of History at Rutgers University, is executive editor of Journal of the History of Ideas. 'This book combines a fresh and insightful overview of the Western historiographical tradition with a real thesis that is defended with verve and erudition. A scholarly tour de force.' - Marcia Colish, Oberlin College

Publication date: November 1998

History and its Images: Art and the Interpretation of the Past

Francis Haskell

In this prize-winning book, an eminent art historian surveys the ways that historians have made use of visual sources - sculptures, paintings, coins and other relics - in their attempts to understand and visualise the past. '[A] vastly erudite and elegantly lucid book....This ground-breaking book gives us new insight into the workings of the historical imagination - and its pitfalls.' - Martin Gayford, The Sunday Telegraph; 'Haskell's scope is vast and his erudition enormous.' - Keith Thomas, The Guardian

Publication date: 1993

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