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What is History? by Edwin Hallett Carr
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What is History? (original 1961; edition 2008)

by Edwin Hallett Carr, R. W. Davies (Editor)

Series: Trevelyan Lectures (1961)

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1,978298,342 (3.8)62
Who is to say how things really were? In formulating a modern answer to the question 'What is History?' Professor Carr shows that the 'facts' of history are simply those which historians have selected for scrutiny. Millions have crossed the Rubicon, but the historians tell us that only Caesar's crossing was significant. All historical facts come to us as a result of interpretative choices by historians influenced by the standards of their age. Yet if absolute objectivity is impossible, the role of the historian need in no way suffer; nor does history lose its fascination. This edition includes new material which presents the major conclusions of Professor Carr's notes for the second edition and a new preface by the author, in which he calls for ‘a saner and more balanced outlook on the future'.… (more)
Member:gunzel
Title:What is History?
Authors:Edwin Hallett Carr
Other authors:R. W. Davies (Editor)
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What Is History? by Edward Hallett Carr (1961)

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» See also 62 mentions

English (23)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
900 CAR 1
  luvucenanzo06 | Feb 24, 2024 |
A primer for all would-be historians - young, amateur or practising. ( )
  sfj2 | Dec 13, 2022 |
Interesting book on History that I read back when I changed my college major from English to History, '82? Don't remember much but it did not keep me from that major, so it must have been OK. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
I have never formally studied History, which I regret to some degree, though if that which was studied was narrow minded and focussed perhaps I did not miss much.

But I have particularly in more recent years more History. And I continue to be astonished by:

- why did I not know this?
- why were we not told this?
- can this really be true?
- how do we get this out to other people?

I don't want to turn this into a polemic as to:
- the treatment of the (Australian) First Nations Peoples ...if you want to start somewhere try Reynolds' Truth Telling History https://www.librarything.com/work/book/219595497
- the treatment of African Americans ...try Ta-Nehisi Coates; Kris Manjapra and for that matter Geraldine Brookes' novel Horse;
- the disregard of other nations...try Poskett's Horizon: A Global History of Science https://www.librarything.com/work/book/216911764

but if you wish to travel down one or more of those roads, please do so.

So what does Carr offer in his G M Trevelyan Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge in Jan - Mar 1961? That is my life time ago ...can it still be relevant? My answer is 'certainly yes'.

But first it was certainly ( )
  bigship | Nov 1, 2022 |
The legendary Sikh historian Professor Balwant Singh Dhillon suggested I read this book when I interviewed him on Sikh generalissimo Baba Banda Singh Bahadur.

https://anchor.fm/the-sikh-renaissance/episodes/Rediscovering-Banda-Singh-Bahadu...

He emphasized that E.H. Carr had transformed his generation's understanding of both history and historiography. Given the fact that the Carrian school of History has withstood the test of time, despite being besieged by post-structuralism, I decided to read What Is History?.

Carr transformed my entire perspective of History and historiography.

His epochal arguments structuring the rationale behind accepting History as an evolving science introduces a tectonic shift behind the purpose of History as well as why we pursue it. His dry wit and simplistic language makes his words a pleasure to read.

Penguin's current edition incorporates a brief biography of Carr; an introduction by Richard J. Evans and reproduces Carr's original summaries.

A must read for all students as well as Masters of History. ( )
  Amarj33t_5ingh | Jul 8, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carr, Edward Hallettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, R. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, Richard J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention."
Catherine Morland on History
(Northanger Abbey, Ch. XIV)
Dedication
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What is history?
Quotations
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«Spesso mi stupisco che debba essere così noiosa, che in gran parte è frutto d'invenzione» CATHERINE MORLAND, a proposito della storia (Northanger Abbey, cap. XIV)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Who is to say how things really were? In formulating a modern answer to the question 'What is History?' Professor Carr shows that the 'facts' of history are simply those which historians have selected for scrutiny. Millions have crossed the Rubicon, but the historians tell us that only Caesar's crossing was significant. All historical facts come to us as a result of interpretative choices by historians influenced by the standards of their age. Yet if absolute objectivity is impossible, the role of the historian need in no way suffer; nor does history lose its fascination. This edition includes new material which presents the major conclusions of Professor Carr's notes for the second edition and a new preface by the author, in which he calls for ‘a saner and more balanced outlook on the future'.

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