Category History Methods

Book Review: Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy of History (1969)

I picked up a copy of Rousas John Rushdoony’s The Biblical Philosophy of History, after learning about the man from my friend Ben House, who blogs at The Heavy Laden Bookshelf. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in this book. I have sympathy for Rushdoony’s general proposition that there is a God and that he acts in […]

The Generic History Methods Manual

Just when I think I have heard of ever history methods manual written in the past eighty years, I come across a new one. Today, I receive in the mail D.M. Sturley’s The Study of History (London: Longman, 1969). This volume probably qualifies as the most generic history methods manual ever written. Indeed, if I […]

Book Review: C.G. Crump, History and Historical Research (Routledge, 1928)

In my ongoing quest to read every history methods book ever printed, I’ve come across this fairly rare little book by C.G. Crump. Crump (1862-1935) sounds like a 19th century English writer even into the twentieth century. His writing is clear, precise, but not overly dense with ideas. In some ways, the book is typical […]

The Bottom 6 Worst Books on History

First, a word about what this list is not. I’m not going to rail against the standard methods book, which has been re-packaged and republished about twice a year every year for the last hundred years.  Here are a few examples: Barzun & Graff, The Modern Researcher (1957) Norman Cantor and Richard Schneider, How to […]

2-part Interview about my New Book

Last week I visited my friend Anthony Comegna at the CATO Institute to talk about my new book, Creative Historical Thinking.  Apparently the original stock of the book is sold out, so they are printing more. I don’t know if that means they sold 5, 50, or 150 copies. I’m pretty happy with how the […]

Top Ten Best Books on the Philosophy or Methods of History

What are the best books in the philosophy or methods of history? Well, I’m trying to read basically all of them. Seriously, and there are a lot, so sometimes I only read a few pages and determine that a book is worthless. Or, I can tell from the table of contents and a cursory look […]

The Shame of Forgetting Maurice Mandelbaum

While most historians have never heard of him, Maurice Mandelbaum, a philosophy professor at Darmouth University, was the founding father of the analytic philosophy of history.  When Mandelbaum launched his professional career in the 1930s, the “philosophy of history” meant essentially what we would today call “speculative history”, that is, grand theorizing about the ultimate […]

Assignments to turn students into historians

As a college student, I wrote a lot of history research papers. Research and writing are two essential tasks of a historian. However, when a class is only 15 weeks long, and when students are being introduced to a topic for the first time, it seems unfair and unproductive to assign them a 15 to […]

History Books at San Carlos University (Guatemala)

The San Carlos University in Guatemala, is the biggest and oldest university in Central America, with well over 150,000 students at present. Each faculty (i.e. department) has it’s own library, and I would have loved to have seen the history department’s library, except the area seemed to be closed down for the summer. So, instead, […]

Interview with a Historian

In my ramblings through historical materials on youtube, I came across this fantastics Interview with historian Sir Brian Harrison.  Harrison, former Professor of History at Oxford, talks about coming up as a history student in the 1950s in elite British circles. He reflects a bit on the uniqueness of his situation, and his surprise at […]