What is History (pg.1-69) – Carr

Carr breaks down the study of history itself in this piece from his publication titled What is History? Carr discusses what is today regarded as the study of historiography by observing multiple historians and their debates through text on subjects in history. He observes different views on history such as history based around fact, or theory. He observes the impact of century biased views, such as the 19th century having a “fetish” for facts, and the difference in historical text from a western or eastern policy.

What I found intriguing is the use of, lesser known historians that quite frankly, have not made such a massive impact of the study of historiography as a whole. The interesting argument brought up by Carr is how insignificant facts are in his mind. As he describes facts belong in a wide spread ocean where the helpless undergrad (such as myself) has to fish out facts to fit his/her interpretation. Which he argues is the downfall of history being based around fact, in that it is all up to interpretation.

Carr observes several various views on how historians interpret history and the approach these views take in supporting them. The emphasis of society and the individuals that make up that society are also observed. There is a massive emphasis placed on the role a historian plays in shaping the actual foundation of society. As their interpretation can often become the view of society and therefore influence their actions.

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