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The Degradation of American History
by David Harlan
American historical writing has traditionally been one of our primary forms of moral reflection. However, David Harlan argues that in the disillusionment following the 1960s, history abandoned its redemptive potential and took up the methodology of the social sciences. In this provocative new book, Harlan describes the reasons for this turn to objectivity and professionali ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published November 10th 1997 by University Of Chicago Press
(first published 1997)
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This is my favorite recently-read book on historiography. A favorite quote: "A sense of the past is a way of being in the present. At its best it is a way of arguing with ourselves, a means of rethinkinig who we might become by rethinking who we once were." Yes, that's exactly why I love history.
I read only the introduction and the to chapters about the essay I am writing. Could not get myself to read anything more, because of the pamphlet-style of the writer as well as his ideas, simply to opposed to mine and, from what I could read, not really enlightening: book about the evils of postmodernism and history for its own sake.