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The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past Audiobook, by John Lewis Gaddis Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John Lewis Gaddis Narrator: Jack Chekijian Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9781541476134
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What is history and why should we study it? Is there such a thing as historical truth? Is history a science? One of the most accomplished historians at work today, John Lewis Gaddis, answers these and other questions in this short, witty, and humane book. The Landscape of History provides a searching look at the historian’s craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn’t require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don’t much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who’s really being scientific and who isn’t? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A bold and challenging book, unafraid of inviting controversy. It provides a strong statement for our time of both the limits and the value of the historical enterprise. New York Times

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About the Author

Author John Lewis Gaddis

John Lewis Gaddis is the Robert A. Lovett Professor of History at Yale University. His previous books include The United States and the Origins of the Cold War; Strategies of Containment; The Long Peace; We Now Know; The Landscape of History; Surprise, Security, and the American Experience; and The Cold War: A New History. He teaches courses on Cold War history, grand strategy, international studies, and biography and has won two Yale undergraduate teaching awards. He was also a 2005 recipient of the National Humanities Medal.