A Little Book for New Historians: Why and How to Study History (Little Books)

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9780830853465: A Little Book for New Historians: Why and How to Study History (Little Books)
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In A Little Book for New Historians veteran historian Robert Tracy McKenzie offers a concise, clear, and beautifully written introduction to the study of history. In addition to making a case for the discipline in our pragmatic, "present-tense" culture, McKenzie lays out necessary skills, methods, and attitudes for historians in training. Loaded with concrete examples and insightful principles, this primer shows how the study of history, faithfully pursued, can shape your heart as well as your mind.

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Review:

"This book makes an outstanding contribution--for students of history, readers of history, history classes in college or high school, and discussions of history in church groups. It explains clearly what historians do, how historical study can promote the right kind of intellectual discipline, and why history means so much for Christian faith. The book is as powerfully effective as it is accessibly succinct."--Mark Noll, author of In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible and American Public Life, 1492-1783

"This slim volume will challenge everything you've learned about studying the past. Put names and dates to the side and buckle your seatbelts for a ride that engages your heart as much as your mind. New historians--and old--will benefit mightily from the wisdom of this little book."--Sam Wineburg, Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and (by courtesy) History, Stanford University

"Beautifully written and thought provoking. Tracy McKenzie reminds us that history is so much more than knowledge about the past. He invites us to understand history as a Christian vocation; he equips us to develop historical habits of the mind, and he challenges us to be transformed by our historical consciousness. Just as history is foundational to Christian faith, McKenzie shows us that historical understanding is also foundational to being a faithful Christian. His book will enrich both the college and church classroom."--Beth Allison Barr, associate professor of history, associate dean of the graduate school at Baylor University

"If we take McKenzie's warnings about American 'present-tense culture' seriously and apply his lessons of history as the remembered past, the solutions for many of our contemporary racial problems would soon become clear. This book provides practical reflection and instruction on the development of historical thinking skills and growth of historical consciousness. I wish I had it when I was a new historian."--Robert Chao Romero, historian, UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies

"More than a how-to for beginning history students, this book is a tonic for our times. When many on the left and right clamor for history instructors to teach 'what really happened, ' McKenzie lays bare the prideful arrogance behind such a desire and reminds us what a mature historical consciousness can provide--a discerning eye for the situation in which one has to act. Brimming with valuable insights culled from decades of classroom instruction by a master teacher, reading this book is both an intellectual pleasure and a practicum for spiritual formation. One can hope that the author's awe and humility before the task of making sense of the past will rub off on everyone who takes up this book."--Lendol Calder, professor of history, Augustana College

"This primer for new historians is full of Christian wisdom about the study of the past. Written by a seasoned veteran who has taught history majors for more than thirty years--in both secular and Christian academic institutions--it will instruct and transform you with profound historical thinking about the world in which we live and the people we should love. Read it and join the conversation!"--Douglas A. Sweeney, distinguished professor of church history and the history of Christian thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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