'Saussure argued therefore that words, or what he called signifiers, were defined not by their relation to the things they denoted (the signified) but by their relation to each other' (p. 95). It becomes rapidly clear, however, that the author’s primary intention is to respond to the formidable challenge to history as a discipline presented by now well known postmodern criticism. As a by-product of this defence Evans gives a clear survey of what history is and what it claims to do. Evans is quite supportive of the useful correctives and insights postmodernism provides, while pushing firmly back on the more absurdist, reductionist claims. So when Patrick Joyce tells us that social history is dead, and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth declares that time is a fictional construct, and Roland Barthes announces that all the world's a text, and Hans Kellner wants historians to stop behaving as if we were researching into things that actually happened, and Diane Purkiss says that we should just tell stories without bothering whether or not they are true, and Frank Ankersmit swears that we can never know anything at all about the past so we might as well confine ourselves to studying other historians, and Keith Jenkins proclaims that all history is just naked ideology designed to get historians powers and money in big university institutions run by the bourgeoisie, I will look humbly at the past and say despite them all: it really happened, and we really can, if we are very scrupulous and careful and self-critical, find out how it happened and reach some tenable though always less than final conclusions about what it all meant." How much, and how so? Evans has also taught at the University of Stirling, University of East Anglia and Birkbeck College, London. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This is a howler, though a common one which gets regularly crossed out in undergraduate essays for courses in theory. Well, no he didn't; the signified is the concept or meaning and the thing (what philosophers term 'the referent') is another question altogether. Mr Evans explains what history is, how history can/should be studied and how different genres and factions are trying to be "the right version" of history. A convenient claim of our postmodern times is that historical truth does not exist, or, at the very least, is not accessible to us. Evans' argument of middle-grounded liberalism and acceptance also uses historical literary evidence to strongly appeal to common sense, since he argues for greater openness between the different factions of historical study, a self-critical and 'objective' (a word which caused huge contention following the book's publication) approach to writing history, a commitment to rigorous source analysis (following the Rankean criteria) and an awareness of the inevitability of subjectivity. Excellent intro to anyone interested in the field, Evans offers an introduction to and defense of history as a discipline. In a genre over-populated by blinkered (not to say ignorant)and choleric conservative enemies of some ill-defined "postmodernism", Evans' book stands out as a balanced and thoughtful look at what History as a discipline is and should be. Granta, 2001 - Historiography - 371 pages. In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. Richard Evans’ In Defense of History is, according the author’s introductory claims, a work of reflection on the state of the profession written by an active professional. The book begins with a history of history: raising first pre-modern styles of history, such as the chronicle and the morality tale of Gibbon’s "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". A great defence of history and a great defense of the truth, Interesting topics and fluent writing. Nor apparently has Evans had time to consider the problems around reading and re-reading Derrida discusses in 'Signature Event Context' (not to mention the issue of the original). Having been a Visiting Professor in History at Gresham College during 2008/09, he is now the Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. E. H. Carr's What Is History?, a classic introduction to the field, may now give way to a worthy successor. He was portrayed the movie "Denial" about the libel trial of Irving v. 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