Historical Controversies And Historians by William Lamont

By William Lamont

For college kids new to the topic of historical past there are various books at the "theory" of writing background yet fewer on how background is absolutely "practised". This paintings by means of a group of historians from the collage of Sussex fills this hole. the 1st half the booklet examines a couple of striking controversies which have been, and nonetheless are, the topic of ancient debate - for instance, race in South Africa, the legacy of the French Resistance, the origins of the Welfare nation. those illustrate the problems all in favour of "doing" historical past. the second one 1/2 the booklet focuses upon the historians themselves - akin to Tawney, Carr, Buckhardt, Weber, Thompson - and demonstrates how the historian places his/her personal spin on historic interpretation. jointly the examine of controversies and historians indicates with readability the sensible problems with ancient procedure. "Historical Controversies and Historians" may be an invaluable primer for any scholar embarking on a path in background.

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As the North American historian Michael Frisch writes, oral history is: a powerful tool for discovering, exploring, and evaluating the nature of the process of historical memory—how people make sense of their past, how they connect individual experience and its social context, how the past becomes part of the present, and how people use it to interpret their lives and the world around them. Anzac memories: gone for a soldier I will illustrate this approach to oral history with examples from interviews with Australian working-class veterans of the Great War of 1914–18 which I conducted in the 1980s.

Oh well, oh yes, I was here. I was in Melbourne on the 4th August 1914, and in the train from Williamstown going to Melbourne. A number of us got in the same carriage and we saw a boat going down the river, the Yarra. “Hello. ” It was the Holtz, I think they named it. A German boat trying to get out, and they were, the artillery fired to stop them. He had to fire two or three shots to stop them. So they grabbed them. What was your initial response to the war? Oh well, nothing particular. ” You see, so he died on the 4th of March, no the 4th of April, 1916.

Once again, Goldhagen is able to argue that such behaviour can only be explained in terms of voluntarism. The problem The central problem of Goldhagen’s book concerns not so much these nine empirical chapters, but the overall interpretative framework into which he places them. His accusation that “the Germans” were so imbued with “eliminationist anti-Semitism”, as he calls it, to the point where, by 1933, they became, actually or potentially, Hitler’s willing executioners has understandably provoked outrage and anguish in Germany.

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