This post is a rumination on the pitfalls and promises of focussing a history book too much on personality… or not at all. Along the way I will touch upon the toilet habits of the first president of the China, the ancient secret to a healthy life, and the views of a talking mouse…
Close your eyes and conjure up an image of Christopher Columbus… Did you do it? What did you see? If you are anything like me you will envisage a cheerful little fellow wearing a captains hat, pantaloons and buckled shoes…
History can mean different things to different people. How is my UK perspective on the subject different from a United Statesian’s for example? What is the best way to study this difference? And why should we care?
I have never knowingly met a post-modernist. Perhaps I have been going to the wrong parties – back in the days when I went to parties. I am keen to meet one. If you are one or can introduce one get in touch.
The reason that I am so interested to make this acquaintance is…
On this site we try to find, read and review new history books (or mostly new ones – see FAQ). But are we right to focus on new books? Is there any reason to prefer a book about the Normans written in the last 5 years to one written 30 years ago – or 130 […]
There is something about the theory of history or historiography – ie how and why the study of history is conducted – that can inflame passions among professional historians. Seemingly mild mannered individuals can become enraged, and previously impersonal prose becomes peppered with personal insults.
“..at the end, Garder [the last Norse settlement in Greenland] was like an overcrowded lifeboat… famine and associated disease would have caused a breakdown of respect for authority… starving people would have poured into Gardar… slaughtering the last cattle and sheet… eating the dogs and newborn livestock…” Jared Diamond, Collapse So writes Jared Diamond on […]