A History of Histories
Epics, Chronicles, and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century
By John Burrow
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727672, 544pp.)
Publication Date: April 7, 2009
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Treating the practice of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the culture of the West, John Burrow magnificently brings to life and explains the distinctive qualities found in the work of historians from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the present.
With a light step and graceful narrative, he gathers together over 2,500 years of the moments and decisions that have helped create Western identity. This unique approach is an incredible lens with which to view the past. Standing alone in its ambition, scale and fascination, Burrow's history of history is certain to stand the test of time.
John Burrow was for many years Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex. From 1994 to 2000 he was the first Professor of Intellectual History at Oxford. He is author of A Liberal Descent, Gibbon, Whigs and Liberals: Continuity and Change in English Political Thought, The Crisis of Reason: European Thought 1848-1914, and That Noble Sphere of Politics. He will be Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts, January to May 2008.
“Burrow marshals a lifetime of knowledge and guides the reader effortlessly across the ages.”
“A fascinating compendium.”
—The New Yorker
"A triumph. . . . Reminds us of how often the narratives of the great historians resemble works of literature and of how important a secure grasp of historical fact can be to the progress of culture and the fate of nations."
—The Wall Street Journal
“Absorbingly informative. . . . An exemplar of how history should be written. Witty, scholarly and, above all, fair.”
—The Times (London)