Annotated Bibliography Summary
Carr, H. Edward. What is history? (Vintage, 1967)
This book is based on the George Macaulay Trevelyan lectures held in Cambridge University on January-March 1961. It is a study focusing on the questions that enshroud the pursuit of history and a Historians job. The heart of this book is the analysis of studying history, the approaches taken upon that task, and how they have changed throughout the centuries. It asks important questions, what is cause and effect? Do the victors really write history and ultimately asks and tries to answer the whopping revelation of what is truth in historical terms?
I believe Carr, at least with what I have taken away from this book, wanted to instill an existential …show more content…
In his work, he often addresses other experts in the field, his terminology and abundant use of it weighs the text down and his work is overall compact and dense. However, this being said, his work has powerful, thought invoking debates that make it well worth the effort to read his work. Furthermore, while arguing for his opinion on the matters at hand, with precise, clear merits he gives, it doesn't feel like Hobsbawm is pushing his readership to the same conclusion, only presenting what he believes for the reader to form their own opinion on.
Nevertheless, Hobsbawm inevitably would have lost some of his audience he could have possibly reached if he took the time to answer some small details a little more in-depth and eased the flow of his narrative. Which I find disconcerting as the book and the debates it wades in on are important matters I think many should be educated on.
I would use this text to really ground and educate myself on the theory always at work behind history and every historian. Additionally, this work is indispensable to any budding historian. It bravely discusses topics either not touched or taught in the mainstream, but sheds light on topics even glazed over by other historians, and if they were previously discussed, this text brings a clean, refreshing outlook on the topics