In Defence Of History

Richard J. Evans

Published: 1 February 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 384 pages
ISBN: 9781783784592

Other Editions


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Published: 18 January 2001
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 384 pages
ISBN: 9781862073951

Ebook Available


The classic explanation of the craft of history and the vital worth of historians to civilization

In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. At a time when fact and historical truth are under unprecedented assault, Evans shows us why history is necessary. Taking us into the historians' workshop to show us just how good history gets written, he demolishes the wilder claims of postmodern historians, who deny the possibility of any realistic grasp of history, and explains the deadly political dangers of losing a historical perspective on the way we live our lives.

About the author

Image of Richard J. Evans

Richard Evans is Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He previously taught at the University of East Anglia and Birkbeck College, University of London. Among his many books are the landmark studies Death in Hamburg, which won the Wolfson Literary Award for History and the William H. Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine, and Rituals of Retribution, which was awarded the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History. His other books include In Hitler's Shadow and Rereading German History. His most recent publication is the widely acclaimed Tales from the German Underworld. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a frequent contributor to radio and television programmes, including In Our Time, Start the Week and Nightwaves. More about the author


‘A magisterial polemic’



‘A subtle, engaged, brilliantly barbed and often amusing case for historical truth’

‘An excellent primer on central issues of historical practice ... exemplary in his handling of sensitive episodes...a model of lucid and intelligent historiographical analysis’

‘Arguably the most talented social historian of his generation’ Niall Ferguson

‘Brilliantly readable’ Antonia Fraser

‘Richard Evans offers a spirited and elegant defence of the discipline...while demonstrating with wit and acumen that historians have never been quite so credulous as is sometimes suggested’

‘This is a wise and sensible book, which should be read by anyone who cares about the past and the way we think and write about it’

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