- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (October 12, 1967)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 039470391X
- ISBN-13: 978-0394703916
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Is History? 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
'...[Carr] tackles half a dozen of the most fundamental questions concerning the interpretation of human social experience. He handles each of these with such mastery as we seldom see, and his little book is one of those rare works which one can with assurance predict will be regarded as basic for years to come.' -- David M. Potter, The Nation
About the Author
Edward Hallett Carr was an English diplomat, historian, writer, journalist, and international relations theorist. He opposed empiricism within historiography. He was best known for his fourteen-volume history of the Soviet Union and his rejection of traditional historical methods and practices. He died in 1982 at the age of ninety.
Top customer reviews
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This superb old book is a thoughtful attempt to define the study of history and historiography. Carr's basic thesis is that people's opinions change throughout their life times, are maleable, and depend on what is going on in the world at any given moment.
The following quote from the book sums up the author's thesis nicely:
....."I am fully aware that, if anyone took the trouble to peruse some of the things I wrote before, during, and after the war, he would have no difficulty at all in convicting me of contradictions and inconsistencies at least as glaring as any I have detected in others. Indeed, I am not sure that I should envy any historian who could honestly claim to have lived through the earth-shaking events of the past fifty years without some radical modifications of his outlook. My purpose is merely to show how closely the work of the historian mirrors the society in which he works. It is not merely the events that are in flux. The historian himself is in flux. When you take up a historical work, it is not enough to look for the author's name on the title page: look also for the date of publication or writing--it is sometimes even more revealing. If the philosopher is right in telling us that we cannot step into the same river twice, it is perhaps equally true, and for the same reason, that two books cannot be written by the same historian." (Carr 51-52)
The book was written in 1961 but is bright and sparkling and applicable to our own generation's thinking and perceptions.