The West

Book Review: History in the Making
History in the Making

History in the Making

J.H. Elliott

Yale University Press ($34.95)

Sir John Elliott is Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford and has been practicing the craft of historiography for nearly 60 years.

So he's better-placed than most to provide an insight into writing history and how approaches to it have changed since the 1950s.

Referring to himself a representative of the last generation of pre-digital historians, Elliott begins with explaining his specialisation in Spanish history before looking at national and transnational history, political history and biography, perceptions of decline, art and cultural history, comparative history and, lastly, a "wider view".

Having acknowledged the difference digital technology has made to researching, amassing and collating data, Elliott nevertheless concludes that "It is understanding that lies at the heart of the historical enterprise." Superb.

The West Australian

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