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A Concise History of History
Global Historiography from Antiquity to the Present


  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108444859

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • This short history of history is an ideal introduction for those studying or teaching the subject as part of courses on the historian's craft, historical theory and method, and historiography. Spanning the earliest known forms of historical writing in the ancient Near East right through to the present and covering developments in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, it also touches on the latest topics and debates in the field, such as 'Big History', 'Deep History' and the impact of the electronic age. It features timelines listing major dynasties or regimes throughout the world alongside historiographical developments; guides to key thinkers and seminal historical works; further reading; a glossary of terms; and sample questions to promote further debate at the end of each chapter. This is a truly global account of the process of progressive intercultural contact that led to the hegemony of Western historiographical methods.

    • Presents a global view of the major themes, and the most prominent thinkers and historians from the history of historical writing
    • Includes sample questions at the end of each chapter to allow instructors to initiate class discussions and assign students with topics to consider further
    • Written by a leading figure in the field, this will be invaluable to those students and instructors looking for a global historiographical focus
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A Concise History of History presents a truly global approach to the writing of history from ancient times to the present, integrating historiographical traditions from across the world into a pluralistic story. In a clear authorial voice shaped by years of teaching, Woolf examines history's multivocal past and speculates about its future.' Merry Wiesner-Hanks, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

    'In a field not over endowed with student texts, this is the ideal introduction. Daniel Woolf has produced a survey of historiography which is truly global, while conveying the richness of the western tradition. To convey all this in such lucid prose and such a concise edition is a remarkable achievement.' John Tosh, University of Roehampton

    'Daniel Woolf's A Concise History of History is lucid, balanced and accessible as well as wide-ranging in both space and time. It makes an ideal introduction to the subject for undergraduates and can be read with pleasure by anyone who wished to become aware of the variety of human approaches to the past.' Peter Burke, University of Cambridge

    'Woolf's coverage is most impressive and his ability to provide an engaging overview of global historians at a reasonable price makes this book a contender for required reading in all introductory history courses.' Norman Wilson, International Network for the Theory of History

    '… this book deserves a wide readership, not only as an excellent introduction to the history of the Netherlands, as it is constituted today, but as a fine example of how to write a concise and comprehensive national history.' Wayne te Brake, The Journal of Modern History

    '... Woolf presents a very well researched, broadly based on the latest research literature and a very understandable written introduction to global history of historiography.' Stefan Haas, translated from Historische Zeitschrift

    'Woolf ultimately provides a tour de force of global historiography. While the West certainly looms large in his work, Woolf's simultaneous treatment of Chinese, Japanese, Islamic and Indian traditions counterbalances the West's general ubiquity in global historiography … A Concise History of History would make an excellent textbook for any undergraduate course requiring a substantive examination of Indo-Asia-Pacific historiography.' Viktor M. Stoll, Journal of Pacific History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108444859
    • length: 358 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The earliest forms of historical writing
    2. History in Eurasia to the mid-fifteenth century
    3. The sense of the past, 1450–1700
    4. Enlightenment, revolution and reaction, c.1700–1830
    5. Disciplining the past: professionalization, imperialism and science, 1830–1945
    6. Transitions: historical writing from the inter-war period to the present
    7. Where do we go from here? Reflections, new directions and prognostications.

  • Author

    Daniel Woolf, Queen's University, Ontario
    Daniel Woolf is Professor of History at Queen's University, Ontario. He is the author of several books, including A Global History of History (Cambridge, 2011), the award-winning The Social Circulation of the Past (2003), Reading History in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2001), and The Idea of History in Early Stuart England (1991). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Royal Society of Canada.

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