The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gordon S. Wood
Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner
Genres: History, North America
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: March 2008
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 11 hours
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History is to society what memory is to the individual—without it, we don’t know who we are and we can’t make wise decisions about our future. But while the nature of memory is constant, the nature of history has changed radically over the past forty years.
In The Purpose of the Past, historian Gordon S. Wood examines this sea change in his field through consideration of some of its most important historians and their works. Along the way, he offers wonderful insight into what great historians do, how they can stumble, and what strains of thought have dominated the marketplace of ideas in historical scholarship. The result is a history of American history—and an argument for its ongoing necessity.
A commanding assessment of the field by one of its masters, The Purpose of the Past will enlarge every reader’s capacity to appreciate history.

Author Details

Author Details

Wood, Gordon S.

GORDON S. WOOD is a professor at Brown University and a renowned scholar of the early American republic. Among his books are "The Radicalism of the American Revolution, " for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, and "The Creation of the American Republic 1776-1787", which garnered a Bancroft Prize. Professor Wood's scholarship has also been honored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, and the Huntington Library, where he was a recipient of the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship,