''History makes plain the complexity and contingency of human affairs and the range and variety of human experience; it enjoins suspicion of simplistic analysis, simplistic explanation, and simplistic prescription; it teaches proportion, perspective, reflectiveness, breadth of view, tolerance of differing opinions, and thus a greater sense of self-knowledge.''—David Cannadine
This book brings together David Cannadine''s most important reflections on how history has been written and made in Britain in the twentieth century. Empire, monarchy, parliament, the economy, culture, heritage and tradition: Cannadine casts his eye over some of the central topics of our age and their treatment by historians down the years, delivering rich insights into the nature and profession of history itself. Most of the essays included here were produced during his decade-long association with the Institute of Historical Research in London and they are framed by his inaugural and valedictory lectures there. The result is a remarkably coherent collection, which demonstrates yet again why Cannadine is one of the most thoughtful, original, incisive and readable historians of our time.