History Other / What Is History? Book Review Of Edward Hallett Carr

What Is History? Book Review Of Edward Hallett Carr

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Autor:  anton  08 October 2010
Tags:  History,  Review,  Edward,  Hallett
Words: 826   |   Pages: 4
Views: 711

History is something we live with everyday. It happens every second in every part of the world. It's been happening for centuries. Even before man embark on writing it down. History is and every changing chain of events and fact that have been spread over time. But how do historians write history. How do they know what really happened at that time. How do they find the correct facts and put them in a book or compare them to the time they are studying. In Edward Hallatt Carr's book, What is history? He attempts to answer this question, by explaining how historians come by their fact, how they see it as individuals, he compares it to science, the causes, as a process, and as a growing field. Which Carr's purpose is to expose the correct what to writing and understanding history for one who wants to become a historian.

Carr understands history because he is a historian himself. He is confident in his field of study. He reminds u that when answering the question what is history? We tend to interpret it from where we stand at the present time. Also how our society works effects that question, and to him because he understands this subject the question seems so vast and broad. Because there is no true history, it's all based on interpretation.

The main points of the book have been stretched out over six chapters. Some chapters more important then the other but none the less had some type of point made in each. In chapter one Carr points out what history is. That history is nothing but facts. First get the fact right then get to interpreting them. Just have to remember that В‘facts are sacred, opinion free" (7). Another point make is that the facts aren't even in a pure form. They have been reflected in the mind of another person before they have come to you. He also pointed out that a historian's work cannot be written with out understanding the mind and time in which it came from. And that to understand the past we must also understand the future. By the end of chapter one he answers the question "What is history? is that it is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue between the present and the past" (35).

The second chapter dealt with the opening idea of what came first the chick or the egg. Which he uses to explain the effects that society has on the individual and how they interpret history. He sees it as a communication between today's society and yesterday's society other then the thoughts of the individual separating historical facts. Chapter three he explains that history is not a science and should not be look at as it. Science has set laws while history dose not. But a way to heal the gap is through the growing interest in social sciences and historians, which are all out to gain some kind of wisdom.

In chapter four, he says that "the study of history is the study of causes" (113). Because history is all about questions and answers, causes and effects. It's seen in history and historians see the facts that lead up to one event that can cause another. By the time chapters five and six are read, Carr starts to rip into his fellow historians. Picking apart their work. But he stays in the middle of the road with his finding, never going to one extreme them the other.

Now what did I get out of Carr's book. Well I feel that the most important chapters are the first four. They seem to have the most information on how an historian should approach the subject of history. Some other things that I got out of his work is that you have too keep an open mind about history. Don't take one side, look at all sides before you jump to what facts are true and what ones are not.

Which Carr repetitive about this point to keep an open mind over and over again all through the book. Great way to get the point across sometimes. It made it boring in some parts. He should this while picking his colleagues works apart. He did lean to the bad side or the good side of the works he was neutral for the most part. This is some thing us young history students need to do, to look at it from all angles and not be ignorant about the subject. From a personal point, I look at learning history, like being in a relationship. The best way to make it work and fit together is to keep and open mind and not shut out what you don't agree with. Over all I liked the book, I'd read it again.

What is History? Edward Hallett Carr. New York: Random House, 1961. 209pgs.

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