[Epub] ❧ What is History? Author Edward Hallett Carr – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk

What is History? Published In 1961, What Is Historyby Historian Edward Hallett Carr Discusses History, Facts, The Bias Of Historians, Science, Morality, Individuals And Society, And Moral Judgements In History.The Book Originated In A Series Of Lectures Given By Carr In 1961 At The University Of Cambridge The Lectures Were Intended As A Broad Introduction Into The Subject Of The Theory Of History And Their Accessibility Resulted In What Is Historybecoming One Of The Key Texts In The Field Of Historiography.Nevertheless, Some Of Carr S Ideas Are Contentious, Particularly His Relativism And His Rejection Of Contingency As An Important Factor In Historical Analysis His Work Provoked A Number Of Responses, Most Notably Geoffrey Elton S The Practice Of History.Carr Was In The Process Of Revising What Is Historyfor A Second Edition At The Time Of His Death.


10 thoughts on “What is History?

  1. says:

    This is a masterful study of the questions historians ask themselves and readers of history should ask themselves about the nature of the writing of history Is history a bunch of objective facts just put down by a disinterested bean counter called an historian Or is it a study of the past with the goal of shedding light on the present Is it a tale of the victors , as the losers in history are usually obliterated Is it cause and effect Is there a Spirit of History, a World Spirit a la Hegel Carr was an eminent Russian historian and it is fascinating to get a look into the making of history, how the vision has changed from century to century how the scarcity of facts makes the writing of history both easier and harder, the specific problems of contemporary history The issue I find especially important is the lens through which an historian assembles his or her facts for analysis that people need to understand that it s not I read this ergo it s true We need to identify the lens, and perhaps balance it with the lens of the opposite point of view, and maybe triangulate with histories by writers or less colorful and opinionated though opinion, or point of view, IS the engine which sends the historian on his or her journey in the first place It s much like biblical scholarship to und...


  2. says:

    I bought a 50 copy of this book years ago on a bargain bin spree at either Housing Works or the Strand Until recently, every time I paged through it I couldn t help but deride its maddeningly simple minded premise in a series of lectures at Cambridge in the 1950s, Carr set out to actually answer the question what is history.Is history a science Are there causes for historical events What is fact And, yes, this is as boring as one might expect You advance through a few pages of this kind of freshman exegesis and you start asking Are you serious over and over.Yet, and of course, Carr wins you over, oh word booty He builds on these simple questions and lays out a truly compelling progressive theory of history He lets you in on conversations he s been having with himself about his profession, the thing that clearly animates his entire life, and it s an honest and rare little inspiration.Plus, he gently mocks conservatives now and then Here s a wonderful bit about the hidden cost of conservatism that made me mentally pump my fist In ordinary life we are often involved than we sometimes care to admit in the necessity of preferring the lesser evil, or of doing evil that good may come In history the question is sometimes discussed under the rubric the cost of progress or the price of revolution This is misleading As ...


  3. says:

    Exploring the study of history31 December 2011 This book is not actually a book on history per se but rather an exploration of the discipline of history This is the main reason that I consider it philosophy as it is not looking at a specific historical event, or looking at the history of civilisation but rather taking a step back and exploring what it is that historians do This is something that many of us generally take foregranted when we look and an historical event Many of us will discuss the reasons behind the event and the results of what happened from the event, but we generally do not look at what goes into our thought patterns when we discuss these things This, though, I believe is important because by understanding the background to the discipline helps us interpret the events and come to better conclusions as to the events that we are looking at There are a few things that I wish to outline with regards to Carr s philosophy this book is actually a series of lectures that Carr delivered, and then published in book form First of all we need to consider the context of the event Carr indicates that history does not occur in a vacuum Once again, we generally know and accept this, but do not really think too deeply about what it means Carr does discuss causation, and this is an important aspect of history, but before we come to causation, we must understand the concept of a fact in history We genera...


  4. says:

    Objective RealityLet me begin by stating my personal objectivist viewpoint There is only one single objective reality Either some event in the past happened, or it did not Someone s opinion does not change that fact For example, on January 10, 49 BC Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with some of his soldiers Or he did not There is only one correct answer.The Hard Truth about Historical FactsSo is the job of the historian is simply to collect up all the objective facts, and an accurate account of what actually happened will automatically follow Carr points out a few problems with this Positivist view.First, we cannot directly observe anything that happened in the past We rely on the accounts of other people, who may in turn be relying on accounts of yet others The Rubicon story may have come from some propagandist putting a spin on Caesar s overthrow of the Roman Republic The historian must assess the accuracy of each so called fact That requires judgment And there are too many historical ...


  5. says:

    I first read What is History as part of a philosophy of history class I believe that the course was given by Aristotle and the book was written on papyrus I recall being less critical of it at that time in any case I would still suggest it as a good introduction to issues in historiography I would, however, suggest caution in taking Carr at face value He has numerous axes to grind and theories to support My major criticism is that he seems to have been a bit disingenuous in putting his arguments forward in regard to the historian s ability to be objective He criticises Collingwood for being over sceptical, that historical certainty is not possible, early in the book while admitting that the historian s task is not easy He states that there is always an interaction between the historian and his material, indeed that the historian must select what is important to history from a mass of facts The facts speak only when the historian calls on them it is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context At the same time, he wants to argue that a good historian will choose the correct facts and tell the true story I have not been able to ascertain exactly how one is to distinguish a relativist who is only putting forward a historical fiction from a good historian who has the right ...


  6. says:

    Excerpt from my essay Carr quickly discredits the notion of history as a universal entity, lambasting Acton s proposal of an ultimate history by indicating that such a concept imposes a complete separation between subject and object The 19th century positivist claim that history is a pure science is a false conviction based not on reality but rather, as Carr calls it, a cult of facts Factuality comprises merely one aspect of the historian s task To have meaning, facts must be properly analyzed and assembled by an individual, thereby adding an element of subjectivity to any historical finding Data may be lost or incomplete one historian s rationale may differ from another s the causes of any particular event may not have been inevitable In order to be scientific, history would necessarily need to possess postulates which apply universally and can be re a...


  7. says:

    I am now 47 years, and I read this one when I was 20 It was in my first university or college, if you are American and its reading marked me deeply It came with the emotion of the first really serious studying book And it made me...


  8. says:

    I kinda of liked it It is a bit repetitive at times, and I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with Carr though that should not matter.


  9. says:

    I am not sure how I am going to be able to review this, albeit short 52 pages out of 177 contain EH Carrs lecture the rest being several prefaces, notes and an index and quite heavy take on the stated subject I had to read this many years ago when I was studying and did not get on that well with it then and being a glutton for punishment that I am, I thought I would re read it and may just appreciate it Wrong It is not that academic, EH Carr writes well, but it is heavy and again I was wading towards the last twenty or so pages Life at my age is too short to bother with getting bogged down Skimmed read the last chapter I would recommend for any History student for sure essential, but I have too many unread books to read Personally this is a two star book Sorry , but objectively, due to his take on modern day history over the...


  10. says:

    Although he penned an immense collection of writings on the Soviet Union and international relations, most historians outside of his speciality know E H Carr as the author of What is History , a historiographical work that challenged the traditional mindset of the field of history Organized as a transcript of a series of lectures he gave on the subject, Carr attempts to answer the work s eponymous question by examining trends, and several key scholars, over the field s development and rejecting them in favor of what he considers a balanced approach to the study of history.In posing the question, Carr argues that any answer one gives will reflect the context of the time and society in which they live He begins his study in the 1830s when, in a reaction to the moralizing history of the past, historians entered an era that he terms the common sense view of history or cult of facts , wherein the objective of history was to collect as many facts as possible and then provide an interpretation of those facts, which are assumed to speak for themselves With an emphasis on the importance of the facts , Carr sees the 19th century method as producing an overabundance of data at the cost of exploring the meaning behind it The fetishism of documents that results from this philosophy also ignores the biases that these documents hold Things change in the 20th century when historians began to realize...


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