A History of History Paperback – 6 Sep 2012
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"A brilliant yet accessible work on contemporary historical theory which does two things no book has previously attempted: first, at the level of the individual, the work shows how the mystifications of academia allow historians to ignore the fictive nature of their enterprise; and, second, the book turns its theoretical stance back upon itself, encouraging readers to deconstruct its arguments as a prelude to desconstructing those of traditional works. This makes it an essential read for anyone interested in current historical theory and practice." - Robert A Rosenstone, California Institute of Technology, USA
"Against a lightly sketched-out but analytically sharp historiological and theoretical back-drop, Alun Munslow continues his by now well-known attempt to drag mainstream academic historians into the post-epistemological present and future where new historyings of as yet unimagined types might be created for the very best of empowering reasons.... a vital read." - Keith Jenkins, University of Chichester, UK
About the Author
Alun Munslow is the founding and UK editor of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice. His recent publications include Narrative and History (2007) and The Future of History (2010).
Top Customer Reviews
I was very disappointed in this book. It does not do what it says on the title. It is not, as one would hope, a survey of how people in the past did history, eg Greeks and their myths, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Christian eschatology, Viking myhtology, the Tudors desperately hijacking anyhting that works to prove they should be on the throne, the gradual rise of science and the desire to chronologically order facts. It is a rant by a post-modernist against modernism.
Mr Munslow is of the strongly-felt and stubbornly-held view that “historians of a particular kind”, as he calls them throughout, are naive in their use of the “empirical-analytical-representationalist” method (finding objects, analysing them, comparing them with what is known, using a bit of wit, then telling people what you have found), producing works that are “fabricated, factious, factitious, fictive and figurative” (p92), and in his not so humble opinion, just not ‘good’ enough (my phrasing in that last bit).
‘Good’ for Mr Munslow appears to be the works of Hayden White, Keith Jenkins (who’s written the official ‘blurb’: no mutual back-scratching ‘luvvie’ moment there then), Robert A Rosenstone, Sande Cohen, and Frank Ankesmit, all ably assisted by the predictable French post-modernists Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida and Baudrillard.
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