The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Review: “Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History”

with one comment

Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History

Carl R. Trueman

Crossway, 2010, 192pp., paperback, $17.99

ISBN 978-1-58134-923-8

How do you do history? Carl Trueman sets out to answer the question briefly and cogently, examining the issues of neutrality (unobtainable) and objectivity (attainable and desirable) in the study of history, taking Holocaust Denial as a case study. He moves on to the idea of interpretative frameworks, and their strengths and weaknesses as tools (Marxism the example, with Christopher Hill its chosen exponent). Then he addresses anachronism, the pressures and temptations that arise from the collision between the historian’s present and the past object of his study. Finally, he looks at common historical fallacies, a brief survey of typical errors made in the study of the past. After an historical postscript, the whole closes with a paper on the reception of John Calvin’s thought in which the author is presumably seeking to exemplify his principles. Anyone who has sat through a historical paper of some sort in which the historian has surveyed history in order to confirm himself in the precise position which he has always held will appreciate this book. Those who read and study for the same purpose will be rebuked and instructed. The wit of the writing, the emphasis on the practical , and the recommendations for further study make this an excellent historiographical primer which will hopefully help those who pursue church history to go to work with competence and confidence.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Saturday 13 August 2011 at 08:29

Posted in Reviews

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Thank you for this review. It does sound like a helpful book and I’ve added it to my “To read” list. I was actually listening to your Sunday school on John Bunyan yesterday (I was teaching Sunday school when you taught it) and it inspired me to read Pilgrim’s Progress again. I think it will only be my second time, so I have a long ways until I catch up with Spurgeon!

    Heather Thieneman

    Sunday 14 August 2011 at 02:42

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