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Latina or Latino or Latinx? African American or Black? How can history students use resource books more effectively in their research papers? Taking a cue from a staff meeting, Sarah Cooper devised a handout to help 8th graders quickly scope out a nonfiction book and find stories and quotes to enliven their papers. It worked! Returning from the NCSS conference, Sarah Cooper reignites her US history unit on reformers to deepen student understanding about historical, current and future activism.

Learn more about the 10 Changemaker Questions she used to create a sense of action in her classes. That day you left your notes at home. Or taught a stupendous lesson that left kids bored. Or arranged a special speaker only to learn about a conflicting event. Middle school teacher Lauren Brown offers solace and a mood lifting idea.

Sifting through sources has become a life skill. Here she focuses on his ideas for teaching students to evaluate websites laterally in addition to vertically, in the manner of professional fact checkers. As Mr.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Future of History'

A normal print run first printing at many, if not most, university presses is now five hundred or even lower, mostly because the number of college and university libraries customarily purchasing such titles has decreased by five percent or more. Surely they must frighten young aspiring historians within the profession.

As a nonfiction writer, I have come to appreciate the utility of the Internet for research during the past decade or so. But I agree with Mr. So what might be the solution? Pile your shelves high and deep, for if Mr. Lukacs is anywhere near prescient, we readers are due a rough future. Click here for reprint permission. For many decades until his death in , Carr was a distinguished historian of Soviet Russia; Elton, who died in , was an equally eminent specialist on the history of Tudor England. Both taught at Cambridge.

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But there the similarities end. Carr was a man of the left. In What is History?

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From the perspective of the late s, these views seem outdated. The Soviet-style planned economy has not turned out to be the future after all.

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The lesson seems to be that whatever else it is, historical objectivity is not conformity to an imagined future. Neither, however, have they followed the alternative vision of history held up by GR Elton in The Practice of History.

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Elton, who came to England as a refugee from the chaos of interwar central Europe in his youth, admired his adopted country not because of its democratic traditions but because of its stability. His career was dominated by a belief in the supremacy of law and a strong and stable state.

Is There A Future In History? Your Questions Answered!

These beliefs led Elton to the study of the reign of Henry VIII, during which, he believed, the strong modern English state had been created. But he rejected the idea that his beliefs had any influence on the way he interpreted his chosen subject. In his view, good history could only be written by historians willing to jettison their own beliefs and become the servants of the sources they studied. The truth would emerge by itself from the documents if you looked hard enough. In this way it was possible to write a definitive history of something-for example, governmental reform under Henry VIII-so that no one would ever need to do it again.

Thus historical knowledge accumulated and we knew more and more about the past-not for some future project or present ideology, but for its own sake, which was the only proper reason for undertaking the study in the first place. But they too now seem dated. His views on the Tudor period were widely criticised, and it is clear that he did shape his arguments in conformity to his own strongly held political beliefs. Few historians believe that interpretations spring unaided from the sources.

Most would accept that they do not just listen to the evidence, they engage in a dialogue with it, actively interrogating it and bringing to bear on it theories and ideas formulated in the present. Not only is it impossible to leave such ideas behind when you go through the archive door, it is also undesirable. At the same time, however, most historians would accept that their dialogue with the sources is a two-way affair. If your documents come up with things that upset your beliefs, then you must be prepared for a rethink.

Carr believed this just as much as Elton did. As he works, both the interpretation and the ordering of facts undergo subtle and perhaps partly unconscious changes through the reciprocal action of one on the other. In the last couple of decades, however, this description of how the historian works has come under sustained attack by post-modernist literary theory. Since the end of the s, the attack has grown so pervasive that it has begun to induce a sense of crisis in parts of the historical profession.

Is There A Future In History? Your Questions Answered! / Historical Association

Nor is this sense of crisis confined to those on the right. Taking their cue from linguistic theories which deny any correspondence between words and the things they are said to denote, post-modernists such as Hayden White argue that historians put into the past anything they wish to. What history writing is about, post-modernists argue, is power. That truth depends upon a shared experience with the object of study: only a woman can understand what it was like to be a woman in the past, only a gay person what it was like to be gay. Their perspective on the past has become the dominant one not because it is right but because they command the institutions such as universities which enable their views to be propagated and alternative views to be suppressed.

But what if that community of scholars operates a set of rules of the sort advocated by EH Carr? Anyone who thinks that the truth about the past does not matter should take a look at the reaction of people in the Soviet bloc after the fall of communism, and note the feeling of liberation that the truth was at last being told about the past. Certainly, white males have written the majority of history books published in Europe and the US in the last century or so.