By John Lukacs
To review historical past is to profit approximately oneself. And to fail to know the significance of the prior 151 to stay unaware of the deeds and writing of earlier generations 151 is to bind oneself by means of the passions and prejudices of the age into which one is born. John Lukacs, one in all this day s most generally released historians, explains what the learn of historical past includes, the way it has been approached over the centuries, and why it may be undertaken by way of at the present time s scholars. This consultant is a call for participation to turn into a grasp of the historian s craft. writer: John LukacsPages: 50, PaperbackPublisher: Christendom PressISBN: 1-882926-42-2
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Extra info for A Student’s Guide to the Study of History (ISI Guides to the Major Disciplines)
He loved and revered history. His style is exceptional, and so are his insights. Among other works he wrote a fourvolume History of the English-speaking Peoples. ) One more brief note—about the philosophy of history. Many historians (and also other thinkers) have been preoccupied with trying to find a system in history, meaning the coincidence of certain conditions and tendencies recurring at somewhat comparable stages in the histories of different civilizations. The three great twentieth-century names in this regard are the German Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), whose Decline of the West is a stunning, though erratic, work, reflecting German pessimism about the fate of our civilization after World War I; the Briton Arnold Toynbee (188950 AStudent’sGuidetotheStudyofHistory 1975), who in his multi-volume Study of History attempted to find parallels and similarities in the development of many civilizations; and the English Catholic Christopher Dawson (1889-1970), an “amateur” historian of great erudition, who found religion to be the deepest and most enduring element in different civilizations.
The historical profession, no more and no less than other professions, is not immune to the intrusion of ideological fads such as Psychohistory or Feminist History or Multiculturalism. There are many sorry examples of these, especially in our times. Yet, by and large, this originally nineteenth-century and German-designed training cannot be abandoned—that is, not until a radically new system of education and of higher learning, involving a new need for new kinds of certified teachers comes about, something that is not likely in the immediate future.
You must know what subject or theme or period or person interests you. , leading you to more reading material. Nowadays this is made easier through various programs on the Internet; but none of that will spare you from the—we hope, interesting—task of reading which is, really, what most of “re-search” may mean. ”* * No matter how detailed and assiduous, your research will never be complete. The nineteenth-century monographic ideal was that certifiable historian who, having read every document and every writing relating to his topic, is able to produce a complete and definitive history of it.