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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
27
4.3 out of 5 stars


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VINE VOICEon 4 November 2001
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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on 24 October 2014
Purchased for someone else who is more than happy.
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on 8 November 2007
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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on 7 January 2001
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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on 22 November 2011
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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on 27 January 2013
I've brought quite a few books in my time and I felt that I needed to review this one because it wasn't near the quality I was expecting. I've brought other books that state a similar condition and they were all perfect relative to their description. Felt a bit let down really.

However, a book is a book. I got the one I needed and delivery was fast.
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on 3 October 2007
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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on 22 October 2012
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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on 2 January 2017
For undergraduates and those interested in the practice of history, John Tosh's well-established book is essential reading and a clearly-written introduction to historiography.
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on 18 November 2013
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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