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Download The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History, by Gordon S. Wood Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (114 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gordon S. Wood Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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History is to society what memory is to the individual—without it, we don’t know who we are and we can’t make wise decisions about our future. But while the nature of memory is constant, the nature of history has changed radically over the past forty years.

In The Purpose of the Past, historian Gordon S. Wood examines this sea change in his field through consideration of some of its most important historians and their works. Along the way, he offers wonderful insight into what great historians do, how they can stumble, and what strains of thought have dominated the marketplace of ideas in historical scholarship. The result is a history of American history—and an argument for its ongoing necessity.

A commanding assessment of the field by one of its masters, The Purpose of the Past will enlarge every reader’s capacity to appreciate history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Wood] possesses as profound a grasp of the early days of the Republic as anyone now working.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Essential reading for anyone who cares about history.”

    Washington Post

  • “Illuminating...[Wood’s] pitch-perfect erudition is legendary.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Fruitful reading for academics and history buffs alike.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James Tracy | 2/23/2013

    " Wood uses the occasion of the book review to expound on the various ways that history can be used and abused (frequently the latter). Thus book is methodologically rich but carries along with elegant and highly readable prose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mscout | 2/26/2012

    " Only attempt if you are seriously ready to get your history geek on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joshua | 8/11/2011

    " Chapter 10 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by mike | 6/23/2011

    " Gordon Wood is an intellectual giant in my view. The essays in this book, most of which have been previously published, constitute all that I know about the topics under discussion. "

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