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Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Third Edition [Kindle Edition]

Ernst Breisach
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this pioneering work, Ernst Breisach presents an effective, well-organized, and concise account of the development of historiography in Western culture. Neither a handbook nor an encyclopedia, this up-to-date third edition narrates and interprets the development of historiography from its origins in Greek poetry to the present, with compelling sections on postmodernism, deconstructionism, African-American history, women’s history, microhistory, the Historikerstreit, cultural history, and more. The definitive look at the writing of history by a historian, Historiography provides key insights into some of the most important issues, debates and innovations in modern historiography.

Praise for the first edition: “Breisach’s comprehensive coverage of the subject and his clear presentation of the issues and the complexity of an evolving discipline easily make his work the best of its kind.”—Lester D. Stephens, American Historical Review

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ernst Breisach is professor emeritus of history at Western Michigan University and the author of several books, including American Progressive History: An Experiment in Modernization and On the Future of History: The Postmodernist Challenge and Its Aftermath, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1451 KB
  • Print Length: 518 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0226072835
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Third Edition edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Q3RS0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, readable, and comprehensive. July 2, 2009
I completely disagree with the last two reviewers. This is possibly the finest and most thorough book ever written on the history of history in a single volume. Sure, the author's style of writing is not "on the edge of your seat" entertaining, but it is an academic book written for an academic audience or at least a more scholarly focused one. I found Breisach work readable and accessible unlike other works I have read such as Michael Bentley's, Modern Historiography, which is very difficult to read on a number of levels.

The whole idea that "this is a history of historiography for ideological conservatives, and religious reactionaries and not a sober and lucid book on the subject" is utter nonsense to say the least. Breisach's covers the different time periods where Christians wrote history and they wrote from a Christian worldview. The fact that because some of Breisach's work surveys Christian-based historiography somehow makes it a book written for conservatives and religious reactionaries is bogus. Breisach surveys plenty of non-Christian historiography as well which does not make this a work for unbelievers only.

This book is very well researched, readable, and comprehensive for anyone interested in the subject of Historiography. This book is also considered a standard and authoritative text on the subject matter in the academic world. Find me a University that has a historiography class where this book is not used? Need I say more?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historiography, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern January 28, 2011
By blake
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is required reading for my graduate class in Historiography at American Public University. The book is excellent and covers the subject very well. It is not light reading but gives a comprehensive overview of history through historians and the changing view points through the centuries.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Introduction October 13, 2011
By Neil
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I received the product in the mail true to the condition and deadline the seller had promised. Using this text in conjunction with an undergraduate historiography seminar, I especially appreciate Ernst Breisach's observations about the paradoxical flux and constancy in the history of an age with the progress of time - it fuels our class discussions well. Still, it is somewhat dense for an introduction, spiraling into many unnecessary digressions which should be categorized as "further reading" instead. I have a feeling there may be more reader-friendly introductions out there. Regardless, Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern gets the job done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graduate Level---Best Modern Book Written on the Subject. November 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"History"can really only be understood with a fundamental understanding of "Historiography"...This third edition is seemingly the best book currently available.--I am a History instructor with 32 years experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Historical Reading February 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For writers of history as it's meant to be done, you must have a copy of Breisach's book as well as Bentley's "Modern Historiography." I urge you to read it and take copious notes as you will find yourself needing it again and again as you learn the process of producing historical works worthy of our times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Survey of Historiography December 9, 2013
Breisach writes an interesting Historiography book. Its heavily slanted to the European and American schools of History, with an ever-so slight mention of the Historiography of the Far East. The writing style is geared more to the academician than to the casual reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest historiography June 12, 2014
Professor Breisach wrote a very usable and clear textbook tracing the line on historical study. I was pleased in the 1990s when I first read this work and took his class in Historiography that he had a clear response to post modernism which was swamping the field at that time. He writes from a Christian perspective and he does not hide that. It is an honest statement but it is not limited to conservatives. Most political or religious conservatives will not like this work as he has no patience with those who make history into a mission for a cause. He writes as if truth exists and calls others to grow a school of thought in history that can make large statements based on serious research and reflection. This book illustrates a statement he made in class; history has lessons to teach, but they are not easy or simple to deduce (my transliteration).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good resource for grad students of history November 1, 2014
Students of history will often encounter the concept of historiography in their undergraduate work as the subject has been introduced to that degree level quite a bit since the early 1990s. Graduate students will definitely become acquainted with the subject on an intimate level and this is one of the works used to do so. I first was introduced to this book, but not the subject at American Military University in 2011. This was required reading for the Historiography course there, and to be honest it left most of my classmates struggling to understand the concept.

Reading Breisach is not difficult. The book itself is a history on the study of history. That’s a pretty simple concept for a true historian, but oddly enough it is a difficult one for the amateur historian. To put it simply, this subject and this book separate the two and demonstrate why there is a wide gap between them. I often deal with frustrated students who struggle with the idea of the history of history and tell them that if they cannot grasp what historiography is they need to forget about earning a Ph.D in history. The study of the field of history will be out of their reach at that level if they cannot master the utterly necessary concept of historiography.

This book begins with the ancient Greeks and their historical interpretations and ends with a description of new cultural history of the late 20th century. In between those two periods it covers Roman, Christian, Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, German, British, French, and American historical concepts and movements as Breisach sought to explore how the study of history evolved over time. He also pointed out how the study of history will continue to change in the future in unknown ways because that is the nature of this field.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast shipping! Received as Described
Fast shipping! Received as Described
Published 6 months ago by Marvel
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is a little hard to read, as ...
This book is a little hard to read, as is most books on historiography. It provides adequate information on how the writing of history has changed over the past 2 to 3 thousand... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bradley thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A good textbook, only barely an overview but it is good.
Published 8 months ago by Lundr
5.0 out of 5 stars Historiography
This is a good book to study. Gives great insight into the area of historiography and is fairly simple to read.
Published 19 months ago by Nicholas Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars TEXTBOOK ALERT
I have trouble rating a textbook. It WAS a great value for the purchase price, sooooo much cheaper than new, but I wasn't drwn into it in the way I like. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Harvey G. Linkous
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult
I had to use this book for a college course. It was very difficult to comprehend. I found myself struggling to understand. Not the best book.
Published 22 months ago by Brandan Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars Did not meet my expectations
I found it difficult to stay interested as I read. This could well be due to my science background and a need for more links to the events of history. Read more
Published on March 16, 2013 by Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and a good read if you are interested in this subject
Very good read and excellent research book. Covers from ancient to modern times on how history is written about and those who write it.
Published on January 27, 2013 by Richard Curry
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