Jan 28, 2021
History: A Very Short Introduction
Posted by John H. Arnold

There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end John Arnold s addition to Oxford s popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history The book begins by inviting us to think about various quesThere are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end John Arnold s addition to Oxford s popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past Such key concepts as causation, interpretation, and periodization are introduced by way of concrete examples of how historians work, thus giving the reader a sense of the excitement implicit in discovering the past and ourselves.The aim throughout History A Very Short Introduction is to discuss theories of history in a general, pithy, and accessible manner, rather than delve into specific periods This is a book that will appeal to all students and general readers with an interest in history or historiography.About the Series Oxford s Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative yet always balanced and complete discussions of the central issues in a given

  • Title: History: A Very Short Introduction
  • Author: John H. Arnold
  • ISBN: 9780192853523
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Paperback
  • History A Very Short Introduction There are many stories we can tell about the past and we are not perhaps as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell or where those stories end John Arnold s addition to Oxf


    Why does history matter The closing chapter of this short book offers its own justification, and recommendation.Beyond the idea of learning from the past in order not to repeat it , the author suggests history helps us understand our own identity, and put it into a wider context He also strongly advocates studying history for the sake of practising general thinking skills To delve into the past, and its different patterns and loosely connected events, we are forced to use both intellectual analy [...]

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    History A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions 16 , John H Arnold 1386 186 150 153 21


    The past itself is not a narrative In its entirety, it is chaotic, uncoordinated, and complex as life History is about making sense of that mess, finding or creating patterns and meanings and stories from the maelstrom John H Arnold, HistoryA friend on Facebook introduced me to this series a couple weeks ago I usually steer towards larger books Diary of Samuel Pepys, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, etc I like to submerge in a book, so I was initially skeptical of this fo [...]


    History as a True StoryJohn Arnold begins this VSI by providing a quick working definition of historiography the process of writing history and history the end result of that process At the end of Chapter 1, he provides a interesting definition that of history as true stories history is true in that it must agree with the evidence, the facts that it calls upon or else it must show why those facts are wrong, and need reworking At the same time, it is a story , in that it is an interpretation, pl [...]

    Amir The Fat Bookworm

    One of the VSI s I ve ever read I also rather enjoyed the audiobook as well It was awesome The book was full of examples, abstract ideas and self examinations The authour offers a rather friendly, yet deep yearning tendency to ask you to think and does not fear of negative views.

    Hamid eNaser


    Syd Amir



    W.E. Linde

    I m just starting a Masters program in History, and I found Arnold s Short History an excellent introduction into the historian s craft For what it sets out to do, it really should be rated 5 stars The books breaks down, at a high level, the evolution of historiography, but always reminds the student reader that the varied contemporary methodologies, although different than what we would use today, often had the same goals the portrayal of historic truth That s not to say that history hasn t bee [...]


    Short and sweet Good reminder of some simple and central points Now I want to read about the Cathars and the English Civil War.


    I assign and re read this every year for the class I teach in historical methods, and I always find new aspects of it to admire Arnold models how to be concise without being superficial.


    Supriyo Chaudhuri

    This is one of the most fascinating History books I have read I would generally avoid the beginners guide, for dummies and short introductions, fearing that they generalise too much and offer nothing of substance However, this one is completely different Apart from very lucid writing and engaging structure, it makes profound points in a short space This is one of those books, which, despite its size, i could not have read it one evening I would read a bit, stop and think, not for the difficulty [...]


    It s short It s less a true historiography in that it doesn t get into method or theory and is a history of history To quote a far able reviewer This is an extremely engaging book, lively, enthusiastic and highly readable, which presents some of the fundamental problems of historical writing in a lucid and accessible manner As an invitation to the study of history it should be difficult to resist Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

    Jessica Prescott

    Clearest, most concise, and most elegant explanation of what I do for a living I could ever hope to read Definitely recommended.

    Sense ofHistory

    I really enjoyed reading this little book, because it is beautifully written in the first place, but also because I like the author s point of view on the relativity of the historians profession The past is a foreign country, there are no self evident truths to find in there, so an historian can only do his best at telling a true story A story, because he s on his own to make sense of that mess, finding or creating patterns and meanings and stories from the maelstrom , but also telling a true st [...]

    Jade Lauron

    A very dense read for me it really made me think about how history is written, and parts of it I went over twice to make sure I fully understood what I was reading This was in part because, at times, I stopped to look up things and then would have to go back and read that section over because I d lost the train of thought I think I would have LIKED the entire subject of history if I had thought about these things before I had to study all those stupid dates and facts in school We never seemed t [...]


    I recommend this introduction to history to anyone who doubts the scholarship of history, or for someone who is considering entering history academia The introduction focuses on the early modern period, which I have grown to detest, but you do get a glimpse at all spans of historical study The case study that shows the merits and flaws of history is Sojourner Truth s Ar n t I A Woman speech Arnold analyses the historical records to reveal to the reader how historians grasp historical meaning th [...]


    Reading this 7 chapter book History A Very Short Introduction by John H Arnold is informative and inspiring due to his narrations that explore deeper and better understanding in the field, for instance, on historiography defined as the process of writing history p 5 , especially past historiography that is to be used as a comparison to what we do now, and as a reminder that if history, as a subject, has changed over time, it may yet change again p 16.


    I m reading this for school s actually really interesting so far I m kind of wanting to get other books of this style to read short little introductions to everything


    Writing that term paper for Comparative Literature was like writing a history paper, with a touch of Italian opera thrown in But it was different from the papers I ve written for history classes for the first time I was doing a lot of research on my own and trying to make sense of politics, economics, social tensions, and opera all at once It was fascinating but confusing in the millions of threads weaving a crazy mess of time, and to throw in opera opera I still don t know what an aria really [...]

    Phillip Marshall

    The bias, which I may detect from John H Arnold, is that he may be sensitive to victimized classes He makes references to an illiterate society than once, as well as uses the terms social classes and political masters It appears that he sympathizes with those who have been persecuted in some way as he used it as an example for showing common emotion He may also be of the secular mindset as his sympathies lie with those who have been victimized by religion Arnold s expertise must lie in or aro [...]


    History A Very Short Introduction openworld 14 34


    The author provides some thoughts on history However, these thoughts were not well organized in tight connections The conclusion in the last chapter was hardly cohesive with what had been articulated in the previous chapters Anyways, it provides some interesting thoughts on history History is not truth, but true stories People can have different accounts of the same historical events Historical narrative must combine the evidences, and the philosophic thoughts History cannot predict the future L [...]

    Madeleine Longtin

    3.5 5 I would have liked to give this book a 4 based on the 4 final chapters alone These were chapters that described the study and approach of history eloquently yet succinctly For years the historian has been seen as a sort of detective They analyse the data, and come to a conclusion that they believe most closely resembles the Truth However, we increasingly have come to respect the complexities of the past recognising that terms such as origins and effects can often be too wide ranging for ge [...]


    Thoughtful, accessible, and fair minded.I think this would be an excellent place to begin if one were preparing to teach students later high school AP IB about historiography This book would be helpful in framing the problematics of thinking about and doing history.I would also suggest Hayden Whites title essay in his book The Content of the Form which is an excellent consideration of history as narrative and formal considerations when writing history.

    Teo 2050

    2h 2.5x Contents view spoiler Arnold JH 2000 04 43 History A Very Short IntroductionPreface and acknowledgmentsList of illustrations1 Questions about murder and history2 From the tails of dolphins to the tower of politics3 How it really was truth, archives, and the love of old things4 Voices and silences5 Journeys of a thousand miles6 The killing of cats or, is the past a foreign country 7 The telling of truthReferencesFurther ReadingIndex hide spoiler


    Well, this was not what I expected teaches me to read the blurb before picking up a book Sadly I didn t find this interesting or engaging so I was bored throughout.But maybe you will have better luck.


    Very nice capsule survey of the process of writing history, tied together effectively with examples.

    Kerttu Nairismägi

    Excellent book Gives a short and understandable overview of what history is and why is it necessary and what is the main goal of it Easy to read and carry around D

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