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An Intelligent Person's Guide to History (Intelligent Persons Guides) Hardcover – 29 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd (29 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715633708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715633700
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,992,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'A clever, willful, self-consciously quirky little book' Sunday Telegraph 'The sheer effrontery of the tone gives the book a clear edge over much of the competition...' Michael Bentley, TLS" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Vincent has been Professor of History at the University of Bristol since 1970. Among his many influential publications are The Foundation of the Liberal Party (1966), Gladstone and Ireland (1979) and a masterly short biography of Disraeli (1990). He is also widely known as a journalist and controversialist.

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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. S. Williamson on 18 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
... would be a better description. Apparently at the beginning of the last century (presumably the 19th as this was published in 1995) 'civilised men, in free elections, voted overwhelmingly to become slaves'. Amazing! Even more amazingly we are not told when or where this was - never mind exactly how 'free' the elections were. Oh, and Catholics [...] have a 'ghetto mentality'. They just do. No need for justification of the statement. Two stars because it's quite a good read and laugh. Rather like Vincent's favourite tabloid, 'The Sun', in fact.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
I heartily recommend this slim volume for the committed historian 9 Jan. 2014
By Gene Rhea Tucker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One of the better "introductions" to history and its ugly step-sister: historiography. I put "introduction" in quotes because Vincent assumes that you already have a good background in the history of history. He drops names as if he were trying to impress a girl (Clio?) on a date. The difference between Vincent and others is that he writes well and is quite funny, to the point of political incorrectness. He slays historical dragons to the political left and right. Bias? Other historiographers talk about it, try to show you how to work around it, Vincent revels in it, lauds it. Kings and Battles? Oft-degraded, Vincent shows it is no different from any other type of history - it's all a construct (and biased). Like the postmodernists, but without all the hand-wringing and anti-capitalististic, anti-Western Civilizationism, he notes that historians are a product of their environment. Why do historians lean left? They are beholden to the quasi-socialist State. That's one explanation, I think there are a few more, but I hadn't thought about it in the particular fashion he lays out, however.

I heartily recommend this slim volume for the committed historian (there's a pun in there).
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