History : An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice

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Demystifying the subject with clarity and verve, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice familiarizes the reader with the varied spectrum of historical approaches in a balanced, comprehensive and engaging manner. Global in scope, and covering a wide range of topics from the ancient and medieval worlds to the twenty-first century, it explores historical perspectives not only from historiography itself, but from related areas such as literature, sociology, geography and anthropology.
Clearly written, accessible and student-friendly, this second edition is fully updated throughout to include:

An increased spread of case studies from beyond Europe, especially from American and imperial histories.

New chapters on important and growing areas of historical inquiry, such as environmental history and digital history

Expanded sections on political, cultural and social history

More discussion of non-traditional forms of historical representation and knowledge like film, fiction and video games.
Accompanied by a new companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/claus) containing valuable supporting material for students and instructors such as discussion questions, further reading and web links, this book is an essential introduction for all students of historical theory and method.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 498 pages
  • 191 x 248 x 31.75mm | 1,111g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • Based on Sport Funding; 2 Tables, black and white; 42 Illustrations, black and white
  • 1138924008
  • 9781138924000

Review quote

"Peter Claus and John Marriott's insightful book History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice offers a most useful introduction to the study of history. The authors chart the development of the discipline from Herodotus to the present day in a clear, logical and concise manner, drawing on a wealth of fascinating illustrative material to map out key developments in the subject. This comprehensive and perceptive book is a must-read for students of history and should be made essential reading on any undergraduate or graduate theory and methods course."
Robert James, University of Portsmouth, UK
"Claus and Marriott have produced an excellent textbook, impressively comprehensive in scope and detail, yet with a logical structure and short, easily manageable chapters, and written in a concise, accessible style aimed at the undergraduate reader. A must for historiography courses."
Sacha Davis, University of Newcastle, Australia
"A welcome revised and updated guide to the discipline of history, its variety, and practice. History is a comprehensive discussion of the development of the subject, different approaches of history, as well as a guide to techniques. It is an essential text for students that mixes historiography, theory, and methodology and is richly illustrated with examples."
Kevin Linch, University of Leeds, UK
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About Peter Claus

Dr Peter Claus is Access Fellow and Lecturer in History, Pembroke College, University of Oxford. His doctoral research on the Corporation of London was followed by work on the history of the City and East end of London, which developed into an interest in unofficial forms of urban social investigation in the metropolis along with a commitment to outreach, public history and the democratisation of the archive. This holistic approach to the study, practice and teaching of history has prompted an accessible and comprehensive introduction to historiography which draws on an engagement with diverse historical constituencies.
Professor John Marriott is Senior Associate, also at Pembroke College, Oxford. His research has focused on London and Empire with a particular emphasis on the nexus between East London and India since the eighteenth century. His numerous books include The Culture of Labourism: The East End between the Wars (1991, The Other Empire: Metropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination (2003), Beyond the Tower: a History of East London (2011) and The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Imperial Histories (2012), co-edited with Professor Philippa Levine. He is now working on the origins of colonial land reform in the seventeenth century, and the demands of young twins.
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Table of contents

List of figures
List of tables
Prologue: history matters


Part 1 Perspectives

Chapter 1: Proof, objectivity and causality

History: science or art?

The status of historical knowledge

Evidence and interpretation

Causes in history
Chapter 2: Ordering of time

Time, history, modernity

Newton and the `time reckoner'


The shape of things to come

Part 2 Histories and Philosophies
Chapter 3: Ideas of History; from the ancients to the Christians

Herodotus and gold-digging ants

Thucydides and reason: an historian for our times?

What did the Romans ever do for history?

Christianity and the end of days
Chapter 4: From the Middle Ages to the Early Modern

European Christendom and the age of Bede

Peoples of the book: Jewish and Islamic conceptions of history

Renaissance humanism and rediscovery of the classics

The battle of books: Camden, Clarendon and English identity
Chapter 5: Enlightenment and Romanticism

The English Enlightenment?

Secular histories

Romanticism: Scott and Carlyle
Chapter 6: The English Tradition

Responses to the Enlightenment: Edmund Burke

Constitutionalism and the Whig interpretation of history

JH Plumb and the new Whigs

Chapter 7: The North American Tradition

America and the New Order of the Ages

The progressive or new historians

The consensus historians

The other America
Chapter 8: Histories of Revolutions; Revolutionary histories

Paine and the radical tradition

French and German Experiences

Germany, Hegel and the Spirit of History

Marx and `historical materialism'

Marxism in the twentieth century
Chapter 9: Postmodernism and Postcolonialism

Modernity and the Enlightenment


Postcolonialism and the West

Part 3 Varieties

Chapter 10: Political History

Theories of the state

High and low politics: the case of the British Labour Party

Beyond state and party: political histories and civil society

Chapter 11: Economic History

Population and social change

Economic historians and the big historical questions

The business of business history
Chapter 12: Social History

The emergence of social history

Class and authority

The family in history
Chapter 13: Cultural History

What is cultural history?

The national character

The promise of cultural history: conflict and carnival
Chapter 14: Feminism, Gender and Women's History

Feminism and history

The attack on class

Gender and identity
Chapter 15: Public History

What is public about history?

Consumption of public history

Producing public history

Public history as contested knowledge
Chapter 16: Visual History

Visual histories

Ways of seeing: Paintings

Ways of seeing: Prints and photographs
Chapter 17: Global history

The challenges of global history

Origins of the global imagination

Enter `new world history'
Chapter 18: Environmental history

The scope of environmental history

Historic precedents

European colonialism

Modern environmentalism
Part 4 History and Other Disciplines

Chapter 19: Archaeology

The lure of archaeology

The theoretical turn: Collingwood and Childe

Historical archaeology

Jerusalem and its layers
Chapter 20: Anthropology

Pens and pith helmets

Functionalism and structuralism

Historical myths: Jewish conspiracies and the `blood libel'

The `dying god': Captain Cook and ethnohistory

Microhistories: worms, night battles and ecstasies
Chapter 21: Literature

Literature as history

The new historicism: Text and context

The graphic novel

Writing the metropolis
Chapter 22: Geography

History, space and place

Geographies of empire

How to lie with maps


Chapter 23: Archives in a Digital World

What is an archive?

`When we return as human beings again': archives and the ashes

Speaking for ourselves: state and community archives

Archives and the digital turn
Chapter 24: Oral History

Anthropologists of ourselves

Oral historiographies

The limits of memory: Arthur Harding and the East End underworld

The wider experience
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