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History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, and Practice

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Why should history students care about theory? What relevance does it have to the "proper" role of the historian? Historiography and historical theory are often perceived as complex subjects, which many history students find frustrating and difficult. Philosophical approaches, postmodernism, anthropology, feminism or Marxism can seem arcane and abstract and many students struggle to apply these ideas in practice. Starting from the premise that historical theory and historiography are fascinating and exciting topics to study, Claus and Marriott guide the student through the various historical theories and approaches in a balanced, comprehensive and engaging way. Packed with intriguing anecdotes from all periods of history and supported by primary extracts from original historical writings, History: An Introduction is thestudent-friendly text which demystifies the subject with clarity and verve.

Author Biography

Dr Peter Claus is a Senior Research Fellow in History at Pembroke College, Oxford. He has researched and written about social networks, social investigation and cultural forms in the City of London and the wider metropolis in the modern period. His particular commitmenttowidening participation and teaching strategies that use the archive as a way of enthusing students from non-traditional backgrounds has led to a more recent interest in the historical role of education and training in the development of public policy.

Dr John Marriott is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of East London, where he remains involved in the work of the Raphael Samuel History Centre. His research interests are in the nexus between London and empire in the modern era on which he has written widely. Most recently, his Beyond the Tower: a History of East London, published by Yale University Press, appeared in 2011. Last year he emigrated to Yorkshire where he is struggling to restore an early Georgian townhouse.

Table of Contents

History: An Introduction to Theory, Method, Practice


Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction:  History Matters


Section One: Theory

Part 1:  Perspectives and Themes

1  Proof and the Problem of Objectivity

2  The Ordering of Time

Part 2: Philosophies

3  Enlightenment and Romanticism

4  From Hegel to von Ranke

5  Postmodernism and Postcolonialism

Part 3:  History

6  From the Ancients to the Christians

7  From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

8  The English Tradition


Section Two:  Method

Part 4: Varieties

9  Political, Social and Cultural

10  Feminist

11  Public

12  Global

Part 5: Related Disciplines

13  Visual Cultures

14  Anthropology

15  Geography

16 Sociology

17 Economics


Section Three:  Practice

Part 6:  Skills and Techniques

18  Sources

19  Archives

20  Oral Testimony




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