What is History?
E. H. Carr's What Is History?is the classic introduction to the theory of history. Exploding the Victorian myth of history as a simple record of fact, Carr draws on sources from Nietzsche to Herodotus to argue for a more subtle definition of history as 'an unending dialogue between the present and the past'. Lively, scholarly and challenging, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning of history and its role in society.
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I read "What is History?" around 1981 as part of History 1000, taught ('enlightened' might be a better word) by master teacher, Dr. Malcolm MacLeod, at Memorial University.
Every day (now 2011), I apply E.H. Carr's lessons about facts, observation, relevance and judgement to quality management, root cause analysis, and process improvement.
The only impediment to the book is the somewhat dated academic style of writing makes it a challenging read.
Keep highlighter in hand and be ready to transcribe Carr's pearls into your own set of notes.