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Other Pasts, Different Presents, Alternative Futures - Jeremy M. Black

Other Pasts, Different Presents, Alternative Futures

Hardcover Published: 3rd August 2015
ISBN: 9780253016973
Number Of Pages: 254

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What if there had been no World War I or no Russian Revolution? What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo in 1815, or if Martin Luther had not nailed his complaints to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517, or if the South had won the American Civil War? The questioning of apparent certainties or "known knowns" can be fascinating and, indeed, "What if?" books are very popular. However, this speculative approach, known as counterfactualism, has had limited impact in academic histories, historiography, and the teaching of historical methods. In this book, Jeremy Black offers a short guide to the subject, one that is designed to argue its value as a tool for public and academe alike. Black focuses on the role of counterfactualism in demonstrating the part of contingency, and thus human agency, in history, and the salutary critique the approach offers to determinist accounts of past, present, and future.

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With a unique methodology, Black performs a what-if analysis of history to show how little it takes to change the world's fate. . .This book provokes thought and speculation while also entertaining.--Foreword Reviews

Preface 1. Introduction 2. A Personal Note on Life and Times 3. Types of History 4. Power and the Struggle for Imperial Mastery 5. The West and the Rest 6. Britain and France, 1688-1815 7. Counterfactualism in Military History 8. Into the Future 9. Skepticism and the Historian 10. Conclusions 11. Postscript Selected Further Reading Index

ISBN: 9780253016973
ISBN-10: 0253016975
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 254
Published: 3rd August 2015
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 0.54

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