Written by a prominent historian, this work develops a highly Original argument in the context of recent debates. Against naive empiricism, Mary Fulbrook argues that all historians face key theoretical questions, and that an emphasis on the facts More...
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Written by a prominent historian, this work develops a highly Original argument in the context of recent debates. Against naive empiricism, Mary Fulbrook argues that all historians face key theoretical questions, and that an emphasis on the facts alone is not enough. Against postmodernism, she argues that historical narratives are not simply inventions imposed on the past, and that some answers to historical questions are more plausible or adequate than others. Focusing on central theoretical issues and strategies for bridging the gap between the traces of the past and the interpretations of the present, and deploying a range of substantive examples to illustrate the argument, this study provides an essential guide to and through major debates about the nature of history and representations of the past.
Mary Fulbrook is Professor of German History at University College London. She is the author of numerous books and articles on German history, including Anatomy of a Dictatorship , also published by Oxford University Press.
|Interpretations: Approaches to history|
|The contested nature of historical knowledge|
|Historical paradigms and theoretical traditions|
|Investigations: Routes from the present to the past|
|Beyond metanarrative: plots, puzzles and plausibility|
|Labelling the parts: categories and concepts|
|Looking for clues: the question of evidence|
|Satisfying curiosity: structure, agency and underlying assumptions|
|Representations: The past in the present|
|Representing the past|
|History and partisanship|
|Conclusion: partial histories|