Towards a Better Understanding of History

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005
This weekend, I finished reading Towards a Better Understanding of History, by Bernard Norling.

In nine chapters, Norling provides an excellent overview of how to study history. While all of the chapters contained valuable information, I found chapter four (What Can We Really Know About History?) and six (The Role of Ideas in History) most interesting.
Chapter outline:

  • Why Study History At All?
  • How to Study History
  • Things Always Change: But Always Remain the Same
  • What Can We Really Know About History?
  • Is History the Work of Great Men?
  • The Role of Ideas in History
  • How Organizations Influence History
  • Economic and Technological Factors in History
  • Man and His Physical Environment
At 124 pages, the book offers an excellent overview of the events and thinking that have shaped our world. More important, it provides a framework with which to examine "historical" information, or any information about people and society. It's not light reading, but recommended all the same

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