In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. At a time of deep scepticism about our ability to learn anything from the past, even to recapture any serious sense of past cultures and ways of life, Evans shows us why history is both possible and necessary. His demolition of the wilder claims of postmodern historians, who deny the possibility of any realistic grasp of history, seeks to be witty and well balanced. He takes us into the historians' workshop to show us just how good history gets written, and explains the deadly political dangers of losing a historical perspective on the way we live our lives. This new edition contains an extensive afterword by the author.
Richard Evans wrote In Defence of History at a time when the historian's profession was coming under heavy attack as a result of the 'cultural turn' taken by the discipline during the late 1980s and the 1990s. Historians were being forced to face up to postmodern thinking, which argued that, because all texts were the product of biased writers who had incomplete information, none could be privileged above others. In this reading, there could be no objective history, merely the study of the texts themselves. While In Defence of History addresses all aspects of historical method, its key focus is on an extensive evaluation of this postmodern thinking. Evans judges the acceptability of the reasoning advanced by the postmodernists - and finds it badly wanting. He is strongly critical both of the relevance and of the adequacy of their arguments, seeking to show that, ultimately, they are guilty of failing to accept the logic of their own position. All texts are equally valid, or invalid, they suggest - while insisting that the products of their own school are in fact more 'true' than those of their opponents. Evans concludes by pointing out that this same argument could be advanced to suggest that the works of Holocaust deniers are just as valid as are those of historians who accept that the Nazis set out to commit genocide. So why, he demands, is no postmodernist willing to say as much? A devastating example of the usefulness of relentless evaluation.
Chinua Achebe is Africa's foremost novelist and one of the African World's most outstanding intellectuals of all time. The 1958 publication of his classic Things Fall Apart on the eve of the great African liberation struggle for the restoration of independence after centuries of European conquest and occupation, underscored the African-centred thrust of his literary journey. As Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe shows in this study, Achebe's writings in the past 40 years amount to a twin-track ingeniously crafted and rigorously-expressive interrogative epic of the African humanity during the course of the past 500 years. These have been years of humiliating conquests, occupation, and dispersal, but also years of far reaching revolutions, liberation, and survival. For Professor Ekwe-Ekwe, Chinua Achebe's contribution to this great African story is centrally seminal: (1) he affirms the African historicity that Eurocentricism is ever keen to deny; (2) he alerts Africans to the futility and hopelessness of a non-deconstructed post-conquest state to spearhead African vast topography of reconstruction and (3) he advocates an African renaissance based on Africa's critical re-engagement with its rich cultural heritage.
Eine leidenschaftliche Antithese zum üblichen Kulturpessimismus und ein engagierter Widerspruch zu dem weitverbreiteten Gefühl, dass die Moderne dem Untergang geweiht ist. Hass, Populismus und Unvernunft regieren die Welt, Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit macht sich breit, Wahrheit gibt es nicht mehr: Wer die Schlagzeilen von heute liest, könnte so denken. Doch Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker zeigt, dass das grundfalsch ist. Er hat die Entwicklung der vergangenen Jahrhunderte gründlich untersucht und beweist in seiner fulminanten Studie, dass unser Leben stetig viel besser geworden ist. Heute leben wir länger, gesünder, sicherer, glücklicher, friedlicher und wohlhabender denn je, und nicht nur in der westlichen Welt. Der Grund: die Aufklärung und ihr Wertesystem. Denn Aufklärung und Wissenschaft bieten nach wie vor die Basis, um mit Vernunft und im Konsens alle Probleme anzugehen. Anstelle von Gerüchten zählen Fakten, anstatt überlieferten Mythen zu glauben baut man auf Diskussion und Argumente. Anschaulich und brillant macht Pinker eines klar: Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt sind weiterhin unverzichtbar für unser Wohlergehen. Ohne sie wird die Welt auf keinen Fall zu einem besseren Ort für uns alle. »Mein absolutes Lieblingsbuch aller Zeiten.« Bill Gates
'Sensationally good ... A riveting story, the real-life spooks and spies far more compelling than anything you will see on the screen ... history doesn't come more fascinating than this' Evening Standard For over 100 years, the agents of MI5 have defended Britain against enemy subversion. Their work has remained shrouded in secrecy - until now. This first-ever authorized account reveals the British Security Service as never before: its inner workings, its clandestine operations, its failures and its triumphs. 'Definitive and fascinating ... whether reporting on Hitler in the 1930s, the Double-Cross System of the second world war, Zionist terrorism, the atom spies, the Cambridge spies, the so-called Wilson plot or the 1988 shooting of the IRA bombers in Gibraltar, this book is essential reading' Alan Judd, Spectator 'The British Secret Service has opened its archives - and even 'insiders' may be in for a surprise ... magisterial ... extremely readable' Oleg Gordievsky, The Times 'Compelling ... a feast' Max Hastings, Sunday Times 'A superb account ... He has captured every important detail of the Service ... unlikely to be surpassed for another 100 years' Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
What is postmodernism? What are the reasons for its attractiveness? In Defense of History is a compelling challenge to postmodern fashion, written by new intellectuals on the left who are reviving historical materialism as an alternative.
In this book you will discover a history of humanity unlike anything you have ever heard of. Ever wonder what happened to all of the civilizations that have gone before us? Well, the events in history are continually repeated by different cultures throughout time with the same finale, affecting the entire globe in a relatively short time. From the ancient writings of all of the historians, religious scriptures and mythology, we also find the same understanding. And their writings unveil the true nature of the forces behind the events. Natural disasters have been undergoing a steady climb, as things become more and more unstable-a process that has happened many times before. These and other observations indicate that we are about to undergo a major global transformation. Notwithstanding, we can stop many natural disasters, terrorism and war by understanding what took place. In Defense of Nature-The History Nobody Told You About unveils a story of the human interaction with our living Earth and living Cosmos. To say that you will be truly surprised by what has been hidden from our historical perspectives is surely an understatement. Know what coming Earth changes are about to occur and why.
"Paul Cartledge hat ein Weltklasse-Team zusammengebracht, welches das Bildmaterial als integralen Bestandteil der Darstellung behandelt" (Oliver Taplin). Dieses Buch will die antike griechische Kultur in ihrer ganzen Vielfalt darstellen und den Glanz Griechenlands von der Antike bis in unsere Zeit vor Augen führen. 300 meist farbige Abbildungen sind das Herzstück dieser Kultur- und Mentalitätsgeschichte, einer Übersetzung aus der renommierten Reihe "Cambridge Illustrated History". Die Abbildungen sind sorgfältig ausgewählt und ausführlich kommentiert. Zusammen mit historischen Karten, Fallbeispielen und "Schaukästen" machen Sie die vielen Facetten der griechischen Geschichte auf unterhaltende und faszinierende Weise anschaulich. Die neun britischen und amerikanischen Wissenschaftler schildern nicht nur die Geschichte der Kriege und der großen Kulturleistungen, sondern auch die Geschichte des alltäglichen und festtäglichen Lebens, der sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und umweltbedingten Aspekte der griechischen Kultur. So wird zum einen die enorme kulturbildende Kraft der Griechen deutlich, die die Entfaltung der westlichen Zivilisation bis heute bestimmt hat, zum anderen sind die Grenzen und die Fremdheit dieser Kultur aus heutiger Sicht eindrucksvoll nachzuvollziehen. Zeittafel, Glossar, ein Who's Who der wichtigsten Persönlichkeiten u.a. komplettieren diesen Band, der auch für den schulischen und universitären Unterricht Material in großer Fülle zu bieten hat.
Mit fulminanter Erzählfreude und einem pointensicheren Gespür für die erhellende Anekdote schildert Boris Johnson Leben und Charakter des bedeutendsten britischen Staatsmannes des 20. Jahrhunderts (1874 –1965). Fasziniert von der Einmaligkeit, dem Humor und Sprachwitz, dem Abenteurertum, den politischen und literarisch-künstlerischen Leistungen seines Helden, hat er eine ebenso kenntnisreiche wie hinreißende Liebeserklärung an Winston S. Churchill verfasst. Mit britischer Nonchalance zeigt Johnson, was die Jahrhundertgestalt Churchill jedem von uns heute noch bedeuten kann.
Although Oakeshott's philosophy has received considerable attention, the vision which underlies it has been almost completely ignored. This vision, which is rooted in the intellectual debates of his epoch, cements his ideas into a coherent whole and provides a compelling defence of modernity. The main feature of Oakeshott's vision of modernity is seen here as radical plurality resulting from 'fragmentation' of experience and society. On the level of experience, modernity denies the existence of the hierarchical medieval scheme and argues that there exist independent ways of understanding our world, such as science and history, which cannot be reduced to each other. On the level of society, modernity finds expression in liberal doctrine, according to which society is an aggregate of individuals each pursuing his or her own choices. For Oakeshott, to be modern means not only to recognise this condition of radical plurality but also to learn to appreciate and enjoy it. Oakeshott did not think that it was possible to find a comprehensive philosophical justification for modernity, therefore the only way to preserve modern civilisation seemed to be an appeal to sentiment. As a consequence he was a passionate defender of liberal education as the best way to underwrite the 'conversation of mankind.'
The author probes the often controversial relationship between Hollywood and history, revealing the distortions and truths perpetuated by filmmakers who attempt to capture history on film. Simultaneous. (Performing Arts)
This book is an attempt to address the widespread criticism of 'conspiracy theories', raising issues like: the control and negligence of the main organs of the media and police which make it difficult for true information to reach the public (and hence the public remain in ignorance of - and dismiss as a 'conspiracy theory' - the true facts); and the public's habit of underestimating the complexity of modern day politics. A number of complex political plots and allegations are described in detail including: the 1641 Rebellion, British Intelligence manipulation of the 1919-21 Irish leaders, Secret Societies and the role of Occult organisations in Ireland and around the world, the allegations that Martin McGuinness is a British agent, and the motivation behind large scale immigration into Ireland. The author also addresses the question of value systems in modern Western societies and asks are even these being manipulated in order to assist the process of political control.
Argues that the American Civil Liberties Union helped shape mainstream American ideas of freedom rather than undermine them.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been protecting country since time immemorial. One way they have continued these traditions in recent times is through service in the Australian military, both overseas and within Australia. In Defence of Country presents a selection of life stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ex-servicemen and women who served in the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force after World War Two. In their own words, participants discuss a range of issues including why they joined up; racial discrimination; the Stolen Generations; leadership; discipline; family; war and peace; education and skills development; community advocacy; and their hopes for the future of Indigenous Australia. Individually and collectively, the life stories in this book highlight the many contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women have made, and continue to make, in defence of country.
At the height of the `Great Game' in Central Asia, in the aftermath of the second Afghan War and in the run up to World War I, the region of Afghanistan became particularly significant for both Great Britain and Russia. In Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire, Christopher M. Wyatt explores the relationship between British and Afghan rulers, as the British sought to safeguard their Indian Empire from the threat of Imperial Russia. With Russia's defeat at the hands of the Japanese in 1905 and the rise of Germany, the need to end the Anglo-Russian rivalry took on the utmost importance. But committed to upholding Afghan territorial integrity by treaty, the British (through the Government of India) were caught in a position where they might be obliged to fight a war they could not win, but could lose face by failing to act. Examining an era of concessions and imperial ambition, this book explores the military planning and decision-making process of British diplomats and politicians (such as the Lords Kitchener and Curzon), in their efforts to retain the British position in the `Great Game' through diplomacy and negotiation. Afghanistan and the Defence of Empire thus offers a unique and ground-breaking analysis of the crucial period of the reign of Amir Habibullah Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan. It is this period which saw the British and the Russians locked in a constant diplomatic rivalry to secure their frontiers and empires, and culminated in the signing of the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention, which agreed to divide up Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet into spheres of influence. As the history of Afghanistan becomes ever more crucial for the understanding of its present military and political situation, this book will be of vital interest for students of History, Central Asian Studies, Military History and International Relations.