What Is History?  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

What Is History? is a 1961 non-fiction book by historian Edward Hallett Carr on historiography. It discusses history, facts, the bias of historians, science, morality, individuals and society, and moral judgements in history.

The book originated in a series of lectures given by Carr in 1961 at the University of Cambridge. The lectures were intended as a broad introduction into the subject of the theory of history and their accessibility has resulted in What is History? becoming one of the key texts in the field of historiography.

Some of Carr's ideas are contentious, particularly his alleged relativism and his rejection of contingency as an important factor in historical analysis. His work provoked a number of responses, notably Geoffrey Elton's The Practice of History.

Carr was in the process of revising What is History? for a second edition at the time of his death.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "What Is History?" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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