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Thinking About History

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  9 reviews
What distinguishes history as a discipline from other fields of study? That's the animating question of Sarah Maza’s Thinking About History, a general introduction to the field of history that revels in its eclecticism and highlights the inherent tensions and controversies that shape it.

Designed for the classroom, Thinking About History is organized around big questions:
Paperback, 264 pages
Published September 18th 2017 by University of Chicago Press
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4.39  · 
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 ·  31 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic, non-fiction
I wish I had had this book when I started grad school. Most of what is in here I knew, having worked in the field for well over a decade now. I did find gems that I will sprinkle into my own teaching. This would be a great reader for an advanced undergrad history seminar or a first year grad student seminar to introduce majors themes and topics in the field.
Saumitra Thakur
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. I read it as a lay person after seeing a friend recommend it on social media. Maza introduces historiography (what it is, the relevant recent debates) in a way that’s relevant for both lay people and for people in the field. In the process, she summarizes several major debates in history and helped me contextualize other work I’d read. She brings attention to assumptions we can easily take for granted, and discovering new assumptions I’d carried made the book unexpectedly fu ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting tour de force of the history of history

I found the book to be erudite and provided plenty to think about. In my case, I wanted to be able to best help teach students to think as closely as possible like historians, and this book was very useful in illuminating how vague my original aim was. Historians as a term and profession has varied over time and this book neatly outlines the varying positions.

I did find it a bit hard going at times: the prose can be relentless at times, but i
Pearse Anderson
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Damn this was a good historiography read! I learned so much about the different types of histories, the history of history books, and the seminal works in the field. Also a great insight into cool books/thinkers to look into later. Probably the best thing this semester.
Janice Liedl
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fresh and clear: I'm going to be recommending this to our history majors, especially seniors and grad students. Can't think of a better survey of the discipline, bolstered by clear examples of scholarship.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read for uni subject.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Look for my review in JAH.
Katherine McCauley
This is a hugely helpful and unusually engaging introduction to historiography and I’m glad I read it. I trust Sarah Maza with everything I have. Thank you for my life
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