Telling the Truth about History
Norton, 1994 - History - 322 pages
We have lost our grip on historical truth. Popular films depict subterranean conspiracies that shape historical events and public knowledge of those events. Best-selling narrative histories dissolve the border between fact and fiction, allowing the author's imagination to roam freely. Influential critics dissolve the author herself into one among many sources of meaning, reducing historical knowledge to a series of texts engaged with each other, not with the past. Powerful constituencies call for histories that affirm more than inform. This new book by three of our most accomplished historians engages the various criticisms that have fragmented the authority of historical knowledge. Although acknowledging degrees of legitimacy in the criticisms, the authors launch a pragmatic response that supports the historian, as they put it, in her long climb, notebook computer in tow, up the 300 stairs to the archives in Lyon. Even if historical truth is an ever-receding goal, the effort to approach it, they show, is legitimate, worthy, and governed by agreed-upon rules. And while affirming the claims of women and ethnic minorities to a rightful place in any narrative of American history, the authors insist on the accountability of history. They outline a coherent narrative of the American past that incorporates its multicultural dimension without special pleading.
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Finally released from the vow of silence imposed by patriotism , Beard's followers had a field day locating interest groups in the American past . From their research came the debtors and creditors , Westerners and Easterners , farmers ...
Under the influence of social history , a new generation of so - called Externalist historians of science looked for the larger interests and values at work within communities of scientists . The Externalist position — the term ...
Assuming a commonality of interests without demonstrating their existence , pragmatism depends on democracy . Hence pragmatism is implicated in democracy's flaws , the principal one being exposure to the unchecked power of a majority ...
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TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT HISTORYUser Review - Kirkus
A ``late-twentieth century understanding of historical truth,'' outlined by three women historians, Appleby (History/UCLA), Hunt (History/UPenn) and Jacob (History/New School for Social Research ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jkmansfield - LibraryThing
“What historians do best,” argue Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob in their 1995 book Telling the Truth About History, “is make connections with the past in order to illuminate the problems ... Read full review
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