Clio Confused: Troubling Aspects of Historical Study from the Perspective of U.S. History
Nations and other political entities are inadequate bases for studying the human past, because the other aspects of human life are not organized along the same lines as these political entities. All communities, including local ones, are amoeba-like, changing size and shape as we observe and probe them. Historians can improve the way they generalize about the past by tailoring their conclusions to the actual evidence they use. By using an array of historical questions of interest to scholars in all of the humanistically oriented disciplines, historians can offer more profound interpretations of their subjects, rather than confining themselves to an explanation of how and why human life evolves or persists through time and space. By doing so, historians can also significantly extend their influence among the general population.
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