The classic explanation of the craft of history and the vital worth of historians to civilization In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. At a time when fact and historical truth are under unprecedented assault, Evans shows us why history is necessary. Taking us into the historians' workshop to show us just how good history gets written, he demolishes the wilder claims of postmodern historians, who deny the possibility of any realistic grasp of history, and explains the deadly political dangers of losing a historical perspective on the way we live our lives.
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.
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.
'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
A Hard-Hitting Critique... Brings Together Fine Essays That Speak Directly To The Underlying Assumptions Of Postmodernism And Offer A Stunning Critique Of Its Usefulness In Both Understanding And Critiquing The Current Historical Epoch. Contemporary Sociology
Argues that the American Civil Liberties Union helped shape mainstream American ideas of freedom rather than undermine them.
Russell's thorough 1865 review of the Russian military engineer Todleben's work emphasises its importance to historians of the Crimean War.
For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution is no longer judged in terms of historical necessity but rather by “timeless” standards of morality. In this succinct essay, Sophie Wahnich explains how, contrary to prevailing interpretations, the institution of Terror sought to put a brake on legitimate popular violence—in Danton’s words, to “be terrible so as to spare the people the need to be so”—and was subsequently subsumed in a logic of war. The Terror was “a process welded to a regime of popular sovereignty, the only alternatives being to defeat tyranny or die for liberty.”
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.
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.'
Gilles Deleuze's engagements with mathematics, replete in his work, rely upon the construction of alternative lineages in the history of mathematics, which challenge some of the self imposed limits that regulate the canonical concepts of the discipline. For Deleuze, these challenges are an opportunity to reconfigure particular philosophical problems - for example, the problem of individuation - and to develop new concepts in response to them. The highly original research presented in this book explores the mathematical construction of Deleuze's philosophy, as well as addressing the undervalued and often neglected question of the mathematical thinkers who influenced his work. In the wake of Alain Badiou's recent and seemingly devastating attack on the way the relation between mathematics and philosophy is configured in Deleuze's work, Simon Duffy offers a robust defence of the structure of Deleuze's philosophy and, in particular, the adequacy of the mathematical problems used in its construction. By reconciling Badiou and Deleuze's seeming incompatible engagements with mathematics, Duffy succeeds in presenting a solid foundation for Deleuze's philosophy, rebuffing the recent challenges against it.
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.
The British Isles, it is often believed, have not been invaded for nearly a thousand years. In fact, as Norman Longmate reveals in this highly entertaining book (the successor to his acclaimed Defending the Island), foreign soldiers have landed on British soil on many occasions.In this definitive study of a long-neglected subject Norman Longmate make constant use of original sources, including contemporary eyewitness accounts. These are woven into an enthralling narrative, packed with fact - about weapons, ships, armies and fortresses - spiced with anecdote, and ranging over international and political as well as military and naval history. The result is above all an exciting story, which shows how, against all the odds, the British people managed to retain their freedom from the days of James I to those of George VI.
The seven essays collected in this book address the history of modern ideas and contemporary cultural issues. The first is the discourse of Marquard's acceptance of the Sigmund Freud prize; the second addresses the equivalence of modernity and the theodiceï¿½; the third confronts the idea of "meaning"; the fourth considers the notion of world history; the fifth addresses world alienation; the sixth deals with the human sciences; and the seventh is a mediation on chance and luck as essential aspects of the human condition.
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.
This monograph suggests that the world needs an American pax to provide both global peace and prosperity.