The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History (Google eBook)

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M.E. Sharpe, Dec 15, 2011 - History - 230 pages
3 Reviews
Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past.

Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries.

Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories.

Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history.

A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.


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Review: The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History

User Review  - Mark R. - Goodreads

Choppy chapters and poor production quality. Read full review

Review: The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

I read this book for my 300 level Historiography class at The University of Alaska Anchorage. We used this book extensively. Valuable to me since I am pursuing a degree in history. This book WOULD NOT be of interest to the average person though. Read full review


Part II The Tools of History
Part III The Relevance of History

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About the author (2011)

Robert C. Williams is Vail Professor of History Emeritus at Davidson College and lecturer in history at Bates College. His books include "Klaus Fuchs: Atom Spy"; "Russian Art and American Money, 1900-1940"; and "The American Atom: A Documentary History of Nuclear Energy" (with Philip Cantelon). He lives in Center Lovell, Maine.

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