Essay about Appleby Book Review

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Appleby Book Review

Telling The Truth About History

I am writing a book review of Telling The Truth About History by Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob. In this book, the authors’ talk about the increased skepticism and the position that relativism has lessen our ability to actually know and to write about the past. The book discusses the writing of history, and how people are struggling with the issues of what is “truth.” It also discusses the postmodernist movement and how future historians can avoid the mistakes by historians from the past. Telling The Truth About History gives great insight and knowledge to those who are non-historians because it looks at the dispute and inadequacy of past historical approaches to the
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Science was also considered to be unbiased. This kind of approach was most commonly accepted until the early 20th Century when scientists began to become the tools of governments and political agendas. One example of this is the Manhattan Project or the space race. Newton's writings revealed that he dismissed some ideas because he feared they would lead to atheism, not because they were scientifically unsound. Darwin was discredited because he based some of his ideas on the writings of Malthus instead of scientific experiments. Malthus' ideas were more socially based than scientifically based (174-180).

The second absolute idea looked at the development of human laws and the idea that humans were being pulled forward through an orderly process of change (241). According to the book, this was an outcome of the link of history and science. "History would henceforth depend on research in archives and original sources as tests of the facts (56)." According the authors historians looked at how the passage of time changed the way societies of the past were viewed (59). During this time two ideas were introduced. The Romantic historian, Johann Herder, argued that each culture and historical period in history "had to be understood on its own terms (64)." The second idea was by George Hegel, he stated that

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