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The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History Paperback – 27 May 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 3 Revised edition (27 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582772540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582772540
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Reviews of the previous Edition:‘This is exactly the kind of book to recommend warmly to any student wanting a general introduction to the discipline of history. It is highly accessible and could as easily be handled by the general reader wanting to know what is happening to history today.'
British Book News

‘Tosh provides an excellent introduction to methodology in history which will be read with advantage by historians at any stage of their development.'
History

‘...admirably up-to-date, well-researched and written with the kind of brio which might alone suggest that history is exciting....The judgements are individual and sometimes controversial but there is no better tour d'horizon on the market.'
Journal of African History

'Tosh writes clearly and pungently...a very satisfactory as well as stimulating vade-mecum for all who work at history.'
Times Higher Education Supplement

From the Back Cover

‘This is exactly the kind of book to recommend warmly to any student wanting a general introduction to the discipline of history. It is highly accessible and could as easily be handled by the general reader wanting to know what is happening to history today.'
British Book News

‘Tosh provides an excellent introduction to methodology in history which will be read with advantage by historians at any stage of their development.'
History

‘...admirably up-to-date, well-researched and written with the kind of brio which might alone suggest that history is exciting....The judgements are individual and sometimes controversial but there is no better tour d'horizon on the market.'
Journal of African History

'Tosh writes clearly and pungently...a very satisfactory as well as stimulating vade-mecum for all who work at history.'
Times Higher Education Supplement

This titmely Revised Edition of The Pursuit of History examines important questions about historians and their work:

· Why do we study history?
· What use is it?
· How do we construct our knowledge of the past?
· Can we apply to history the methods and objectives of the social sciences?
· What are the limitations of historical evidence?
· What different kinds of history are being written today?
History is more relevant and popular today than ever. John Tosh’s guide is the essential and accessible introduction to every aspect of the practice of history.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Prospero77 VINE VOICE on 4 Nov 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having completed a BA Honours degree in History in 1999 I am still very surprised by the rarity of a worthwhile book on my subject. One that unpacks the discipline itself, inspires enthusiasm and a genuine sense of enjoyment. Invariably you are pointed in the direction of 'How to Study' books as a substitute. But these are an appalling slog for the average reader. They usually comprise 200 pages on how to skim read, make a spider diagram and render a perfectly good text book worthless with a flourescent green highlighter pen! In fact, most 'This is History' books that you can lay hands on are even worse, being almost always 'Source- hysterical'. Just how many times can you explain 'Primary' 'Secondary' and the 'Who', 'What' 'When' and 'To what end' conundrums of witting and unwitting testimony? Then if we stay awake long enough to reach chapter three we step into the academic minefield of verbose and complex 'Marx-speak'. Usually by this time I've joined 'Clarinet' or Tai Chi classes at the local College; sat next to ladies that resemble Renee Roberts of 70's Coronation Street fame. Thankfully however, John Tosh has saved us from such nightmares and produced a little triumph here. Nice, smooth, prose which glides through the subject with fluent skill. He handles historicism and theory without getting bogged down and I was left feeling genuinely 'interested'. History as a subject became far too Weimar obsessed-especially at A level- and fresh, new approaches are needed. Well done John!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Tatton on 8 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
John Tosh is in my view an excellent writer. This book enables even dimwits like me to understand the basics of historiography - the methods of history. This edition has really helpful notes in the margins explaining more complicated terms in a very simple way - spelling out anachronistic for example. Where I disagree with him slightly is in his emphasis on oral history being a technique rather than a 'genre'. OK he dedicates a fair bit of space to his book to discussing oral history but is not as positive about its contribution as Gwyn Prins - whose argument is better backed up by sources.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is great as it looks at how to go about researching local history looking at issues such as oral, visual and written history. As it says in the title the author looks at "aims, methods and new directions in the study of modern history". Its a very good book for those just starting to look at researching history.Tosh deals with the problems that surround the uses of primary and secondary sources.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lockefab on 22 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Tosh is a great author and brilliantly put this book together, excellent for students and the general reader... He explains his view of the development of the discipline of History and its many branches that have formed over the recent past
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on 3 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a good introduction to the ongoing debates surrounding history. I brought it when I was studying the nature and purpose of history at uni and it did help me. Tosh covers many topics, including the use of history, sources and oral history, themes and many others in an objective way, using a lot of sources. His only problem is his work is not all that easy to read, and I often found myself having to read some pages several times over for the message to sink in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Anne wullivan on 18 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am studying History and this book is very clearly written and easy to understand, I have found it useful to refer to for essay writing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shananana on 22 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
As a BA History student, I am struggling to read this book. I love the debate about postmodernism and the limits of historical knowledge, but I find this book incredibly dull and completely uninspiring. If it is an option, please save yourself from this insipid book and opt for a slightly, albeit still rather dull, better book, I'd reccommed E. H. Carr's 'What is History'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lyn du Plessis on 4 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter required this book for her History Honours course and she has found it most helpful and informative - an excellent aid to anyone studying History.
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