Spring 1962 • Vol. XXIV No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1962 |

Shorter Reviews: What Is History?

What Is History? by Edward Hallett Carr. Alfred A. Knopf, $3.50. There is a dearth of books on the philosophy of history by scholars in the English-speaking world; Mr. Carr's book is a welcome and proactive contribution to the subject. The style pleases; the argument—polemical, repetitive, tendentious—does not convince: history is "a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue between the present and the past." Facts are never "pure," however, and require interpretation by historians, themselves the products of their times. The good historian escapes from the relativistic dilemma by asking not merely "Why," but "Whither." He has, says Mr. Carr, laying hold of the newest cliché in the language, the future in his bones. Eschewing "law" and "inevitability," the author none the less detects "a sense of direction in history itself." With the world in revolutionary change around him, he optimistically—assuming that at least a

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What Is History? by Edward Hallett Carr. Alfred A. Knopf, $3.50. There is a dearth of books on the philosophy of history by scholars in the English-speaking world; Mr. Carr's […]

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What Is History? by Edward Hallett Carr. Alfred A. Knopf, $3.50. There is a dearth of books on the philosophy of history by scholars in the English-speaking world; Mr. Carr's […]

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