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Historical Evidence and Argument

David Henige

Historians know about the past because they examine the evidence. But what exactly is “evidence,” how do historians know what it means—and how can we trust them to get it right? Historian David Henige tackles such questions of historical reliability head-on in his skeptical, unsparing, and acerbically witty Historical Evidence and Argument. “Systematic doubt” is his watchword, and he practices what he preaches through a variety of insightful assessments of historical controversies—for example, over the dating of artifacts and the textual analysis of translated documents. Skepticism, Henige contends, forces us to recognize the limits of our knowledge, but is also a positive force that stimulates new scholarship to counter it.

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The Historiography of Communism

Michael E. Brown

In this fresh appraisal of communism and anti-communism, with an emphasis on the American case, respected scholar Michael E. Brown examines the methods, controversies and difficulties involved in writing the history of communism. Arguing that one important way of understanding communism—other than as a concrete political or ideological force—is as an expression of an essentially reflexive aspect of society that typically manifests itself in social movements. In this regard, Brown understands the history of communism as part of the history of society. Examining works by E. P. Thompson, Karl Marx, and Pierre Clastres, Brown develops the idea of history as an immanent feature of human activities. Taken together, the essays in this book—written over a period of 20 years–offer a distinctive approach to the connections between social theory, criticism, and historiography and to what is “social” about “social movements.”

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History and Its Objects

Antiquarianism and Material Culture since 1500

Peter N. Miller

Cultural history is increasingly informed by the history of material culture—the ways in which individuals or entire societies create and relate to objects both mundane and extraordinary—rather than on textual evidence alone. Books such as The Hare with Amber Eyes and A History of the World in 100 Objects indicate the growing popularity of this way of understanding the past. In History and Its Objects, Peter N. Miller uncovers the forgotten origins of our fascination with exploring the past through its artifacts by highlighting the role of antiquarianism—a pursuit ignored and derided by modem academic history—in grasping the significance of material culture.

From the efforts of Renaissance antiquarians, who reconstructed life in the ancient world from coins, inscriptions, seals, and other detritus, to amateur historians in the nineteenth century working within burgeoning national traditions, Miller connects collecting—whether by individuals or institutions—to the professionalization of the historical profession, one which came to regard its progenitors with skepticism and disdain. The struggle to articulate the value of objects as historical evidence, then, lies at the heart both of academic history-writing and of the popular engagement with things. Ultimately, this book demonstrates that our current preoccupation with objects is far from novel and reflects a human need to reexperience the past as a physical presence.

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History in Africa

Vol. 32 (2005) through current issue

History In Africa: A Journal of Method focuses on historiographical and methodological concerns and publishes textual analysis and criticism, historiographical essays, bibliographical essays, archival reports and articles on the role of theory and non-historical data in historical investigation. Published Annually.

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The Holocaust and the West German Historians

Historical Interpretation and Autobiographical Memory

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Housewives and citizens

Domesticity and the women’s movement in England, 1928–64

Caitriona Beaumont

After an extremely successful debut in hardback, Housewives and citizens is now available in paperback for the first time. This book explores the contribution that five conservative, voluntary and popular women’s organisations made to women’s lives and to the campaign for women’s rights throughout the period 1928–64. The book challenges existing histories of the women’s movement that suggest the movement went into decline during the inter-war period, only to be revived by the emergence of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s. It is argued that the term 'women’s movement' must be revised to allow a broader understanding of female agency encompassing feminist, political, religious and conservative women’s groups who campaigned to improve the status of women throughout the twentieth century. The book provides a radical re-assessment of this period of women’s history and in doing so makes a significant contribution to ongoing debates about the shape and impact of the women’s movement in twentieth-century Britain.

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In Good Company

The Church as Polis

Stanley Hauerwas

By exposing a different account of politics—the church as polis and "counterstory" to the world's politics—Stanley Hauerwas helps Christians to recognize the unifying beliefs and practices that make them a political entity apart from the rest of the world.

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Inside the Confederate Nation

Essays in Honor of Emory M. Thomas

edited by Lesley J. Gordon and John C. Inscoe

In The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience (1970) and The Confederate Nation (1979), Emory Thomas redefined the field of Civil War history and reconceptualized the Confederacy as a unique entity fighting a war for survival. Inside the Confederate Nation honors his enormous contributions to the field with fresh interpretations of all aspects of Confederate life—nationalism and identity, family and gender, battlefront and home front, race, and postwar legacies and memories. Many of the volume's twenty essays focus on individuals, households, communities, and particular regions of the South, highlighting the sheer variety of circumstances southerners faced over the course of the war. Other chapters explore the public and private dilemmas faced by diplomats, policy makers, journalists, and soldiers within the new nation. All of the essays attempt to explain the place of southerners within the Confederacy, how they came to see themselves and others differently because of secession, and the disparities between their expectations and reality.

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Interpreting American History

The New Deal and the Great Depression

In this second volume of the Interpreting American History series, experts on the 1930s address the changing historical interpretations of a critical period in American history. Following a decade of prosperity, the Great Depression brought unemployment, economic ruin, poverty, and a sense of hopelessness to millions of Americans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs aimed to bring relief, recovery, and reform to the masses.

More than seventy-five years after Roosevelt took the oath as president, Americans are still debating what did and did not happen in the 1930s to help the nation recover from its worst economic depression. Proponents and detractors have cast the successes and failures of the New Deal in many lights. Historians have argued that the New Deal went too far, that it did not go far enough, that it created more problems than it solved, and even that its shaky foundations are the reason for the economic and social instability of the Great Recession of the early twenty-first century.

The contributors to this volume explore how historians have judged the nature, effects, and outcomes of the New Deal. Arranged in three sections, the essays discuss Roosevelt’s New Deal revolution, explore the groups on the fringes of the New Deal, and consider the legacies of 1930s reform. Chapters focus on specific areas of study, including politics, agriculture, the environment, labor, African Americans, the economy, social programs, the arts, mobilization for World War II, and memory. These fields represent today’s emerging interpretations of one of the most significant decades of the twentieth century.

Interpreting American History: The New Deal and the Great Depression introduces readers to this important period by examining the major historical debates that surround the 1930s, giving students a succinct and indispensable historiographic overview.

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Japanese Historians and the National Myths, 1600-1945

The Age of the Gods and Emperor Jinmu

John S. Brownlee

In Japanese Historians and the National Myths, John Brownlee examines how Japanese historians between 1600 and 1945 interpreted the ancient myths of their origins. Ancient tales tell of Japan's creation in the Age of the Gods, and of Jinmu, a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess and first emperor of the imperial line. These founding myths went unchallenged until Confucian scholars in the Tokugawa period initiated a reassessment of the ancient history of Japan. These myths lay at the core of Japanese identity and provided legitimacy for the imperial state. Focusing on the theme of conflict and accommodation between scholars on one side and government and society on the other, Brownlee follows the historians' reactions to pressure and trends and their eventual understanding of history as a science in the service of the Japanese nation.

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