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Author Black, Jeremy, 1955-

Title Other pasts, different presents, alternative futures / Jeremy Black
Published Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [2015]


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 236 pages)
Contents A personal note on life and times -- Types of history -- Power and the struggle for imperial mastery -- The West and the rest -- Britain and France, 1688-1815 -- Counterfactualism in military history -- Into the future -- Skepticism and the historian -- Conclusions -- Postscript
Summary "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"--Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes English
Print version record
Subject Imaginary histories.
History -- Methodology.
Contingency (Philosophy)
Agent (Philosophy)
History -- Philosophy.
HISTORY -- Civilization.
HISTORY -- Essays.
HISTORY -- Reference.
HISTORY -- Social History.
HISTORY -- Europe -- General.
Agent (Philosophy)
Contingency (Philosophy)
History -- Methodology
History -- Philosophy
Imaginary histories
Genre/Form Counterfactual histories
Counterfactual histories.
Histoires contrefactuelles.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780253017062