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The Historians' Paradox
Author: Peter Charles Hoffer

ISBN: 9780814737149
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 226
Published: 17 October 2008
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 583.0 x 389.5 x 2.3
Description:
"[C]onsistently amusing and edifying throughout. [Hoffer] demonstrates an extraordinary mastery of a wide variety of materials. He's a mature historian at peak form." --Peter Onuf, author of The Mind of Thomas Jefferson Hoffer has a knack for using contemporary situations that will eventually be topics for historical writing." --Claire Potttter, Wesleyan University How do we know what happened in the past? We cannot go back, and no amount of historical data can enable us to understand with absolute certainty what life was like then." It is easy to demolish the very idea of historical knowing, but it is impossible to demolish the importance of historical knowing. In an age of cable television pundits and anonymous bloggers dueling over history, the value of owning history increases at the same time as our confidence in history as a way of knowing crumbles. Historical knowledge thus presents a paradox -- the more it is required, the less reliable it has become. To reconcile this paradox -- that history is impossible but necessary -- Peter Charles Hoffer proposes a practical, workable philosophy of history for our times, one that is robust and realistic, and that ...

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