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Structure, culture and history
on December 3, 2008
This is a refreshing book about the relationship between historical studies and the various branches of social science. The author discusses the study of social phenomena from a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives, utilizing clearly argued examples rather than abstract reasoning. He has many interesting ideas which go beyond the limitations of specialized paradigms.
The book requires some familiarity with contemporary social science since the discussion often revolves around key terms such as "structure" and "culture". But aside from that requirement, the text is quite accessible even for an interested layman.
My one point of complaint is that the chapters are a bit disunited. Apparently most of them have been written as separate research papers and are published together here with minor modifications. There are some interconnecting themes between the chapters but there could have been many more if the book had been written as one project from start to finish.
Even so this book is definitely a thought-provoking and insightful piece of work and I recommend it to anyone with a general interest in history and social science.