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The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of Modern History
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The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods, and New Directions in the Study of Modern History

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Written for undergraduate students in history, this text focuses on the representation of that past in the work of historians. The author argues that students need to be aware of the limits placed on historical knowledge by the character of the sources and the working methods of historians. Intended to explore a number of general propositions about history and historians,...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 243 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Longman Publishing Group (first published February 27th 1984)
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Stuart Jennings
Well written introduction to the subject arranged in clear thematic chapters
Has run through more editions than most of us have had hot dinners. As a tutor this means its shelf life as text book is limited as each edition sees slight rearrangements of themes, chapters and pagination and courses have to be restructured accordingly
Great overview of historical methods. Could only be improved by the inclusion of something of the sense of how to assemble material, identify key themes, and avoid fallacies (refer David Fischer's "Historians' Fallacies").
Terri Lynn
I read this in preparation for a graduate school independent study in graduate historiography and it is awesome. Tosh has an incredible enthusiasm for history and historiography and knows how to make it come alive for readers. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
While I must agree with the reviewer who found all of the glossings a touch patronising, they are but a small detraction from what is otherwise and excellent book on what, in my opninion, is both a most interesting and important part of history. Whereas many historians have written books of the subject that are essentially manifestos for their own viewpoint (among them G.R. Elton and E.H. Carr) Tosh here aims to be complete even handed and instead provides an overview of key issues involved in h...more
Tosh presents good information on historical writing, history and theory. However his writing style is convoluted and hard to understand at times.
While the books does give an overview of various fields of history, it is hopelessly out of date and patronizing. It defines words and events in the margins. Things like Third Reich, empathy, etc. Definitely wouldn't be reading it if the professor didn't assign exam questions on specific passages.
Clear and interesting introduction to historical methods, approaches and relevant theory. Has some useful marginal notes and some hilarious ones ('empathy', 'lay readership' and 'kinship').
Mark R.
More theoretical and philosophical than a previous text I've used for a historical methods class. I like the British perspective as well.
If you have any kind of research experience in the history field, this book may seem irrelevant. It did to me.
Extremely helpful for those, like me, who are concerned with historical research and study.
Sep 26, 2012 Todd rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: IB students/History majors and buffs
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This is a great book to understand histrical research and uses of historical materials.
Ed Callahan
This is a good introduction to the current state of modern historiography.
A good introduction to the study of history.

Yes, I am that boring.
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