I should be able to reveal the cover design at the end of the month, but I am happy to announce that Why Study History: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past is now available for pre-order at Amazon and other bookstores. The book will be out in September.
Here is the updated table of contents and an updated description drawn from a previous blog post:
I see the book as a short primer on the study of history. My primary
audience is Christian college students who are studying history, but
much of what I have to say is applicable to students of the past with other
religious affiliations or none at all. I also hope the book will be a
resource for graduate students and college professors, especially those
who are just starting to get their feet wet in the classroom. Scholars,
and especially those who specialize in historiography, will not find
much that is new in this text apart from an interpretive synthesis of
what I believe to be some of the best scholarship on historical
thinking, the relationship between history and society, and the
integration of faith and the historian's vocation.
I have deliberately made an effort to blend the theoretical and the
practical in jargon-free, easily accessible prose. So much of the
scholarly work in historiography tends to be dense and impregnable to
the undergraduate mind. While I have not avoided complex ideas at the
intersection of history and theory, I have largely downplayed them in
favor of an approach that students will find useful. For example, I
have devoted considerable attention to the way history can contribute to
a healthy democratic society, how history can deepen our spiritual
lives, and even how the study of history prepares one for a variety of
careers and vocations in an ever-growing and expanding marketplace.
Ch. 1: What Do Historians Do?
Ch. 2: In Search of a Useable Past
Ch. 3: The Past is a Foreign Country
Ch. 4: Providence and History
Ch. 5: Some Christian Resources for Studying the Past
Ch. 6: History for a Civil Society
Ch. 7: The Power to Transform
Ch. 8: So What Can You Do With a History Major
Epilogue: History and the Church
Appendix: Proposal: A Center for American History and a Civil Society