This classic introduction to the study of history invites the reader to stand back and consider some of its most fundamental questions - What is the point of studying history? How do we know about the past? Does an objective historical truth exist and can we ever access it? In answering these central questions, John Tosh argues that, despite the impression of fragmentation created by postmodernism in recent years, history is a coherent discipline which still bears the imprint of its nineteenth-century origins. Consistently clear-sighted, he provides a lively and compelling guide to a complex and sometimes controversial subject, while making his readers vividly aware of just how far our historical knowledge is conditioned by the character of the sources and the methods of the historians who work on them. The fifth edition has been revised and updated throughout, with the addition of new sections on: * Global history * Comparative history * Postcolonialism * Women's and gender history * Oral history and memory Lucid and engaging, this new edition retains all the user-friendly features that have helped to make this book a favourite with both students and lecturers, including marginal glosses, illustrations, suggested further reading and boxed guides to key events and people.