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The Forensic Historian: Using Science to Reexamine the Past Hardcover – April 30, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0765636614 ISBN-10: 0765636611

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765636611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765636614
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,011,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"There is a sense of mystery and discovery that courses its way through the cases, helping to make the reading compelling. This is a near-perfect little book to introduce students and teachers to this relatively new and exciting field of forensic history; it simplifies a complex subject without dumbing it down." --Teaching History

"Williams provides an introduction to the field of forensic history that is brief but substantial, clearly and engagingly written, and therefore accessible to undergraduates at any level, not only as an extension to Williams' widely used guide for history majors, The Historian's Toolbox, but even for those students in the sciences fulfilling general education requirements in introductory history courses. ... The book is inviting and interesting enough for students that instructors should recognize its potential to inspire rich critical discussions." --World History Connected

"This book has the possibility of introducing students to new ways to think about techniques that they already recognize from TV and movies and to apply those means of analysis to broad historical questions. From Ivan the Terrible to Osama bin Laden, the possibilities for identification, analysis and interpretation of interest to schools and the general public are vast and exciting." --Jannelle Warren-Findley, Arizona State University

"Clio meets CSI. In this remarkable book Williams utilizes science and modern technology in a forensic analysis of a wide range of historical issues. The result is an entertaining, informative, and provocative collection of short essays that should delight both historians and scientists, while it raises the question of what other insights into the past we can gain from the application of this methodology." --Cary D. Wintz, Distinguished Professor of History, Texas Southern University

"An excellent cross-disciplinary book for use in any entry level history course or as a historical companion text to any upper level forensic science course. A series of fascinating examples of how forensic science has been used behind the scenes to answer previously unanswered questions thereby giving historians a different perspective on works of art, forgeries, relics, and even historical figures and events." --Clara Toth, Professor of Biology, Forensic Science Program Co-Coordinator, St. Thomas Aquinas College

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phil Sallee on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a forensic scientist. I found the historical aspect of this book quite interesting. The author provides an outline of the history of each event covered. The coverage of each event is not very in-depth, but does give the reader an understanding of what happened and when.

The forensic part leaves a bit to be desired. It is too brief, and there are scientific errors. Examples - the author refers to the end of a hair as the follicle (the follicle is the part of the skin the hair grows out of); he refers to "restrictive" enzymes in DNA analysis (they are "restriction" enzymes); and he implies that since all of the bullet fragments from the Kennedy assassination had the same elemental composition, they must have all come from the same gun (can't make that conclusion from elemental composition).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Fisher on January 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a forensic scientist, I had heard bits and pieces of some of these popular forensic cases over the years. The Forensic Historian helped fill in the gaps of some of the missing information and was a very interesting read. Great book for forensic and history buffs alike.
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