- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (April 26, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801485606
- ISBN-13: 978-0801485602
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods 1st Edition
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Frequently Bought Together
"Among the books designed to teach aspiring historians proper procedures for their work, this volume ranks high. . . .Readers will especially appreciate the care taken to show the link between methodological innovations and the historical contexts in which they occurred."―Choice, January 2002, Vol. 39, No. 5
"If the best historians, beginning with Thucydides, have been skeptical of metaphysical absolutes, they have also been reluctant to immerse themselves in antiquarianism. The present book draws strength from this tension."―Charles Sullivan, Common Knowledge, 2003
"Historians generally have had to work out for themselves the different ways to read and use sources, the issue of how much we actually can learn from the past, the different ways that historical questions have been asked, and the uses to which history can be put. From Reliable Sources makes this process easier by laying out the principal elements of historiography and source criticism. No one, after reading this book, will be able to think again of sources as unproblematic conveyors of simple facts."―Constance Brittain Bouchard, University of Akron
"Both learned and informative, From Reliable Sources is clearly the outcome of extensive archival and critical experience. With its accessible balance of exposition and example, it is also a pleasure to read. There is nothing else like this in English."―Isabel V. Hull, Cornell University
About the Author
Walter Prevenier is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and the author or coauthor of numerous books, including From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods, also from Cornell, and The Promised Lands: The Low Countries Under Burgundian Rule, 1369–1530.
Top Customer Reviews
In general, this attitude about history and historians is now considered to be a mistake. Because of some very volatile and dangerous events in the early twenty-first century, the study of history should be viewed now as one of the most important, if not the most important scholarly activity. One can easily observe the enormous weight that is placed on events of the past, due in part to the ideological agendas that are deeply embedded in contemporary politics. And some historians have chosen to use historical analysis to justify a political agenda, or have acted as sycophants for the institutions that host them. It would be fair to say that some historians are now viewed with extreme skepticism, and many are therefore looking into the historical record and seeking answers on their own. These historical auto-didactics are hungry for tools of analysis in which to study and interpret past events.
This short book gives an introduction to these tools, and any reader, whether of the afore-mentioned type or not, will gain a lot from its perusal. It gives much insight into how historians view and find sources, and is primarily written for non-experts (such as this reviewer) in historical analysis.Read more ›
The critical analysis of a source is the first step to this process. What follows is whether or not the historian believes that the source is reliable. An important message conveyed by the authors is that no source is perfectly reliable. This leads to the limitations faced by historians today, such as change and causality, and how they deal with them. Its significance to historical writing is vital because historians today use different methodologies than their predecessors. Historiography is a daily changing profession where scholars and historians continually struggle with finding the right sources.
Leopold von Ranke is credited with the founding of the scientific method of history writing but even so he betrays an unclerical ideology and a commitment to the national state so historians must always consider the conditions under which a source was produced, the intentions that motivated it and the reliability of that source.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had this for a class on research methods. As a new grad student I found it very helpful.Published 17 months ago by Tolana
Dry, dry, dry... not something I would buy for my own enjoyment, but I needed it for school. With that said... Read morePublished 21 months ago by D. J. C.
What do historians do? How do they do it? These are two major questions that go hand in hand for anyone wondering about the actions of historians. Read morePublished 22 months ago by gloine36
Well, I am sure that they are wonderful people in person. If I had the opportunity to go on a picnic with either of these writers I would leap at the chance. Read morePublished on October 14, 2014 by XXXXXX