September 5, 2023
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$24.00 USD, £19.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

A Brief History of History

In A Brief History of History, acclaimed historian Jeremy Black seeks to reinvigorate and redefine our ideas about history. The stories we tell about the past are a crucial aspect of all cultures. However, while the traditional storytelling process—what we think of as "history" in the proper sense—is useful, it is also misleading, not least because it leads to the repetition of bias and misinformation.
Black suggests that the conventional idea of history and historians is constructed too narrowly, as it fails to engage with the broad nature of lived experience. By focusing on a singular idea or story within the history being explored, we fail to understand the interconnectivity of the everyday experience.
A Brief History of History challenges accepted norms of the historical perspective and offers a view of human history that will surprise many and (perhaps) infuriate some. But above all, it is a history of historians written for this moment in time, a time when the traditional Eurocentric approach to history now appears wholly inappropriate.

About the Author

Jeremy Black is the author of numerous books, including A Subject for Taste: Culture in Eighteenth-Century EnglandGeorge III: America's Last KingEngland in the Age of Shakespeare; and Charting the Past: The Historical Worlds of Eighteenth-Century England. He is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Exeter and a Senior Fellow both of Policy Exchange and of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Black is a recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society for Military History. Follow Black on his website.


"Why are things as they are? Why do things change? How and by whom should that process of change be explained? In A Brief History of History, one of the world's leading historians shows how globalizing perspectives are transforming the meaning of 'progress.' This powerfully argued account of historical thinking shows Jeremy Black at his spiky and brilliant best."—Crawford Gribben, Queen's University Belfast

"In A Brief History of History, world leading historian Jeremy Black shares decades of research and thinking to show how the subject has developed and how it is written. Perceptive, insightful, and packed with ideas, it addresses the central problem of today's 'culture wars'. Above all, it shows with great clarity how interconnected human experience is; and how dangerous it is to undermine those connections. It is an essential guide for those concerned about misinformation and false truths today."—William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University

"Understanding historical episodes and their importance requires looking at how historians presented them at different periods. Jeremy Black's deeply informed study introduces readers to that task by presenting historians influential during their own time and how they used the past to explain their own present. Instead of reading back current trends and debates, he brings history's different roles to the forefront in a guide of the genre's long tradition."—William Anthony Hay, Mississippi State University

"A sense of the past is inherent to all cultures. But that sense is not only fragile, it is also prone to manipulation for political, ideological or cultural ends. A Brief History of History shows how thinking about the past evolved inside academia and, more importantly, outside it and what the future may hold. It deftly combines scholarship with contemporary observations, fizzing with ideas that stimulate and challenge many cherished notions about the study of history. It is the perfect book for our perplexing times."—T.G. Otte, University of East Anglia
Indiana University Press

9780253066091 : a-brief-history-of-history-black
September 5, 2023
$24.00 USD

Other Titles by Jeremy Black

A History of Britain, revised edition

Jeremy Black
Feb 2024 - Indiana University Press
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback

England in the Age of Austen

Jeremy Black
Mar 2021 - Indiana University Press
$90.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Tank Warfare

Jeremy Black
Oct 2020 - Indiana University Press
$25.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in HISTORY / Historiography

Byzantium after the Nation

Dimitris Stamatopoulos
Nov 2022 - Central European University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback

The Historical Construction of National Consciousness

Jenő Szűcs, edited by Gábor Klaniczay, Balázs Trencsényi, Gábor Gyáni
Oct 2022 - Central European University Press
$105.00 USD - Hardback

The Austrian Second Republic (Contemporary Austrian Studies, Vol 31)

edited by Marc Landry, Eva Pfanzelter
Oct 2022 - University of New Orleans Press
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback