Embracing Complexity: A Conversation with David Cannadine

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - History - 47 pages
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This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and eminent historian David Cannadine, Princeton University. This thoughtful conversation includes an examination of different aspects of the societal role of both history and historians while rejecting the simplifying distortions of the historical record that we are regularly presented with. David also provides behind-the-scenes insights into several of his bestselling books, including The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Imposing Order, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Finding One’s Historical Feet - Merging subjective and objective

II. The Art of Biography - Trevelyan, Mellon, George V and more

III. The Undivided Past - The origins of a deliberately provocative venture

IV. Transcending Parochialism - The value of history

V. Categorical Examinations - The utility of boxes

VI. Historical Broadening - Changing practices

VII. What to Do, Part I - Advising presidents and educating Princetonians

VIII. What to Do, Part II - Harnessing technology

Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks.


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A Note on the Text
The Conversation
Finding Ones Historical Feet
The Art of Biography
The Undivided Past
Transcending Parochialism
Categorical Examinations
Historical Broadening
What to Do Part I
Continuing the Conversation

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by renowned theoretical physicist Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games.

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