The Landscape of History
How Historians Map the Past
By (author) John Lewis Gaddis
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Landscape of History by John Lewis Gaddis
Book DescriptionWhat is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy. Written in the tradition of Marc Bloch and E.H. Carr, The Landscape of History is at once an engaging introduction to the historical method for beginners, a powerful reaffirmation of it for practitioners, a startling challenge to social scientists, and an effective skewering of post-modernist claims that we can't know anything at all about the past. It will be essential reading for anyone who reads, writes, teaches, or cares about history.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195171570
(204mm x 136mm x 10mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Lewis Gaddis
Cold War, Paperback (January 2007)
In 1945 war came to an end. But a whole new terror was only just beginning... In this book, the truth behind every spy thriller you've read: why America and the Soviet Union became locked in a deadly stalemate. It tells the story of crisis talks and subterfuge, tyrants and power struggles - and of ordinary people changing the course of history.
Surprise, Security, and the American Experience, Paperback (October 2005)
September 11, 2001, distinguished Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis argues, was not the first time a surprise attack shattered American assumptions about national security and reshaped American grand strategy. We've been there before, and have responded each time by dramatically expanding our security responsibilities.
Strategies of Containment, Paperback (July 2004)
Carrying the history of containment through the end of the Cold War, this book begins with Franklin D Roosevelt's postwar plans. It provides an analysis of George F Kennan's original strategy of containment, NSC-68, The Eisenhower-Dulles "New Look," and provides an assessment of how Reagan and Gorbechev completed the process of containment.
United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947, Paperback (December 2000)» View all books by John Lewis Gaddis
This book moves beyond the focus on economic considerations that was central to the work of New Left historians, examining the many other forces-domestic politics, bureaucratic inertia, quirks of personality, and perceptions of Soviet intentions-that influenced key decision makers in Washington.
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Author Biography - John Lewis Gaddis
John Lewis Gaddis is the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University. A leading authority on Cold War history, his books include We Now Know, The Long Peace, and Strategies of Containment. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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