The historian's toolbox : a student's guide to the theory and craft of history /
Robert C. Williams.
3rd ed.
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2012.
xvi, 230 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
0765633264 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780765633262 (hardcover : alk. paper)
More Details
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c2012.
0765633264 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780765633262 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-06-01:
The third edition of this title by Williams (emer., Davidson College) contains most of the material in the previous editions (2nd ed., 2007; 1st ed., CH, Sep'03, 41-0075), including part 1, "The Craft of History," and part 2, "The Tools of History." The chapter titled "Using the Internet" has been expanded and moved into a new section--part 3, "The Relevance of History." This new part has sections titled "Oral History," "Material Culture," "Public History," "Event Analysis," "New Tools: GIS and CSI," "History on the Internet," "TMI: Too Much Information," and "Epilogue: The Persistence of History." The purpose of the third edition is "to help history students, and even other historians, understand the tools of the intellectual process and craft that is history." The book guides students in selecting a topic, conducting research, evaluating and acknowledging sources, writing narrative, and interpreting meaning. As in previous editions, each chapter concludes with a "task"--an assignment that gives practical application to the concepts discussed. Although pricey for a student history text, this title, now enhanced with new material, continues to serve as an excellent guide to conducting historical research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above. E. R. Hitchcock Cumberland University
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Choice, June 2012
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Main Description
The Historian's Toolbox introduces students to the theory, craft, and methods of history and equips them with a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, and filled with fascinating examples, this best-selling "how to" book opens up an exciting world of historical research.
Main Description
Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries. Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories. Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history. A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.
Table of Contents
Illustrations and Tablesp. xi
History as Funp. xiii
The Craft of History
The Pastp. 3
Storyp. 7
Historyp. 11
Metahistoryp. 20
Antihistoryp. 27
The Presentp. 33
The Futurep. 39
The Tools of History
Doing History: An Overviewp. 47
Choosing a Good Paper Topicp. 47
Reading Historyp. 48
Taking Notesp. 51
How to Write a Good History Paperp. 52
Sources and Evidencep. 56
Primary and Secondary Sourcesp. 56
Primary Source: The Wannsee Protocol (1942)p. 57
Secondary Source: Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why do they say it? (2000)p. 57
Summaryp. 59
Documentsp. 59
A Revolutionary War Ancestor's Pension Application (1832)p. 59
Mapsp. 61
Sebastian Munster's Map of the Americas, c: 1540p. 61
Artifactsp. 64
Digging Ancient Moscowp. 64
Imagesp. 66
Sharpshooter's Home or Photographer's Studio?p. 67
Cliometrics: Using Statistics to Prove a Pointp. 70
The Black Population of Colonial Americap. 70
Genetic Evidencep. 72
Welsh and Basques, Relatively Speakingp. 73
Thomas Jefferson and Sally HemingsùWhat's My Line?p. 74
Credit and Acknowledgmentp. 79
Notesp. 79
Bibliographyp. 81
Styling your Bibliographyp. 81
Types of Bibliographiesp. 82
A Selective, Annotated Bibliographyp. 82
Acknowledging Sources and Avoiding Plagiarismp. 83
Professional Plagiarism: How Not to Do Historyp. 86
Narrative and Explanationp. 91
The Language of the Historianp. 91
Paul Revere and the New England Villagep. 92
Chronologyp. 95
The Life of Margaret Fullerp. 97
Narrativep. 100
Pickett's Charge at Gettysburgp. 100
Argumentp. 104
"'Little Women' Who Helped Make This Great War"p. 105
Causationp. 106
The Reasons Whyp. 108
Explaining the Mann Gulch Fire of August 5,1949p. 109
Interpretationp. 112
Reviewing Historyp. 112
Bellesiles's Arming Americap. 113
Historical Revisionp. 116
The Denmark Vesey Slave Conspiracy (1822)p. 116
Historiographyp. 119
World War IIp. 120
Women's History: The Leo Frank Casep. 124
Speculationp. 128
Historical Speculationp. 128
Will the Real Martin Guerre Please Get an Identity?p. 128
History as Fictionp. 130
The Soldier Who Never wasp. 131
Conspiraciesp. 133
Who Really Really Killed Lincoln?p. 133
Forgeries and Facsimilesp. 136
Is a Document Genuine?p. 136
Is a Collection of Documents Authentic?p. 138
How Can Forgeries Influence History?p. 138
Is a Newly Discovered Collection by a Well-Known Author Authentic?p. 139
If it is a Forgery, Who is the Forger?p. 139
Fiction as Historyp. 141
Film as History: Fact or Fiction?p. 143
Films Can Help the Historian Understand the Pastp. 144
Films Can Hinder Our Understanding of the Historical Pastp. 145
The Relevance of History
Everyday Historyp. 151
Studying Ordinary Peoplep. 151
The Burgermeister's Daughterp. 151
Everyone's a Historianp. 153
Oral Historyp. 156
The Perils of Memoryp. 156
Interviewees and Interviewersp. 158
The WPA Slave Narrativesp. 159
Techniques of Oral Historyp. 161
Material Culturep. 164
Spirits in the Material Worldp. 165
Richard Bushman and The Refinement of Americap. 165
Studying Material Culturep. 167
Public Historyp. 170
History Beyond the Ivory Towerp. 170
History and the Publicp. 172
The Enola Gay Controversyp. 172
Event Analysisp. 177
History in Real Timep. 177
The Iraq War: Munich, Mukden, or Mexico?p. 178
New Tools: GIS and CSIp. 182
Spatial History: Geographic Information Systemsp. 182
Killer App: Crime Scene Investigation Forensicsp. 184
History on the Internetp. 187
Using the Internet: Promises and Pitfallsp. 187
Wikipedia and "Wikiality"p. 189
Blogging the Past (and Present)p. 191
TMI: Too Much Informationp. 193
History as Informationp. 193
Hacking History: The Deluge of WikiLeaksp. 196
Private Parts: The Intrusion of Historyp. 199
Epilogue: The Persistence of Historyp. 202
Glossaryp. 205
Selected Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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