The Use of History Author:A. L. Rowse What is "the use of history" in an age increasingly devoted to and reliant on advanced technology? A. L. Rowse, one of Britain's most outspoken historians, brushes aside antiquated academic concepts in his trenchant reply to this central challenge facing historical scholarship. It is, he affirms, the very fragmentation of knowledge brought abo... more »ut by overspecialization which elevates history to its new position as the indispensable common denominator, the single unifying force that gives all other fields of study their relevance.
Rowse's vigorous discussion of the importance, the uses, and the pleasures of history also provides both scholar and layman with a broad perspective against which to judge current historical trends. He defines the two dominant, and often warring, schools of modern historical philosophy--the "free-will" and the determinist--with a careful analysis of their strengths and weaknesses and a reasoned argument for their reconciliation. He denounces what he sees as major errors in modern historical interpretation, devoting special attention to what he considers the vices and virtues of Marxism. Finally, he evaluates scores of specific books for further study in general and specialized areas of history and offers a prescribed course of reading for the history beginner.« less