The Historian's Toolbox: A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History
, 2003 - History
- 170 pages
What is history and how do we learn about it? How has our understanding of history changed and developed over the years? How do historians and students actually go about "doing" history? In an engaging and entertaining style, this accessible "how-to" manual introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of "tools" to help anyone read, research, and understand the past. The first half of the book is a stimulating overview of the key elements of history -- evidence, narrative, judgment -- that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries. The second half guides readers through the "workshop" of history. Unlocking the historian's "toolbox, " it reveals the tricks of the trade, offering concrete examples and practical advice on the study, comprehension, and communication of history. The book covers myriad historical tools, including documents, sources, footnotes, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many other items. It also examines professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories. Brief and illuminating, and filled with fascinating historical information and stories, The Historian's Toolbox will inspire students and teachers alike as it cuts through the jargon and explains simply the "why, " "what, " and "how" of history.