Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9780226109336 Published September 2017
Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9780226109169 Published September 2017
E-book $20.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226109473 Published September 2017 Also Available From

Thinking About History

Sarah Maza

Thinking About History

Sarah Maza

264 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9780226109336 Published September 2017
Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9780226109169 Published September 2017
E-book $20.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226109473 Published September 2017
What distinguishes history as a discipline from other fields of study? That's the animating question of Sarah Maza’s Thinking About History, a general introduction to the field of history that revels in its eclecticism and highlights the inherent tensions and controversies that shape it.

Designed for the classroom, Thinking About History is organized around big questions: Whose history do we write, and how does that affect what stories get told and how they are told? How did we come to view the nation as the inevitable context for history, and what happens when we move outside those boundaries? What is the relation among popular, academic, and public history, and how should we evaluate sources? What is the difference between description and interpretation, and how do we balance them? Maza provides choice examples in place of definitive answers, and the result is a book that will spark classroom discussion and offer students a view of history as a vibrant, ever-changing field of inquiry that is thoroughly relevant to our daily lives.
Contents
Introduction

1          The History of Whom?
History from Above: “Great Men” and a Few Women
Social History and Quantification
E. P. Thompson’s Historical Revolution
Resistance and Agency
Power and the Private Sphere

2          The History of Where?
How National History Became Unnatural
Oceans, Middle Grounds, Borderlands
The Rise of Global History
Displacing Euro-America

3          The History of What?
From Ideas to Things
The Changing History of Ideas
Thomas Kuhn’s Scientific Revolution
Science in Historical Context
The New History of Things
Nature and Other Nonhuman Actors

4          How Is History Produced?
From Chroniclers to Academics
Popular and Public History
Orthodoxy and Revisionism: How Debate Shapes History
Do Sources and Archives Make History?

5          Causes or Meanings?
Causality and History
In Search of Laws and Patterns: Social Science History and Comparison
Marxism and the Annales School
Multicausal History and the Return of the Event
In Search of Meaning: Microhistory
Clifford Geertz, Michel Foucault, and the “New Cultural History”

6          Facts or Fictions?
The Rise and Fall of Objectivity
Postmodernism and History: Radical Skepticism and New Methods
Everything Is Constructed
Barbarians at the Gate
Distortion or Imagination: Where Do We Draw the Line?

Conclusion

Acknowledgments
Index
Review Quotes
David Brown, Elizabethtown College
“Maza has finally provided us with a strong synthetic and contemporary work that reflects the development of historical writing over the last few decades. Nothing out there combines the accessibility and range of Thinking About History; it is a literate, current, and inviting survey. Maza successfully captures the complexity of issues that have teased historians over the centuries. She raises the right questions, discusses the right scholarship, and engages with the right fields. Thinking About History is a model of concise and reflective historiographical coverage and the best synthesis of its kind.”
Allan Megill, University of Virginia
“Maza offers many intelligent reflections on how history is ‘done’ these days, after a period of fifty years or so during which historians have rethought their practice of the discipline. She also gives her readers an excellent crash course in the various different schools of, or approaches to, history that have emerged in that time. Thinking About History is the best concise overview of Western historiography over this period that I know of.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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