Historical Theory: Ways of Imagining the Past
OverviewPractising historians claim that their accounts of the past are something other than fiction, myth or propaganda. Yet there are significant challenges to this view, most notably from postmodernism. In Historical Theory, a prominent historian develops a highly original argument that evaluates the diversity of approaches to history and points to a constructive way forward. Mary Fulbrook argues that all historians face key theoretical questions, and that an emphasis on the facts alone is not enough. Against postmodernism, she argures that historical narratives are not simply inventions imposed on the past, and that some answers to historical questions are more plausible or adequate than others. Illustrated with numerous substantive examples and its focus is always on the most central theoretical issues and on real strategies for bridging the gap between the traces of the past and the interpretations of the present. Historical Theory is essential and enlightening reading for all historians and their students.