Demystifying the subject with clarity and verve, History: An Introduction to Theory, Method and Practice familiarizes the reader with the varied spectrum of historical approaches in a balanced, comprehensive and engaging manner. Global in scope, and covering a wide range of topics from the ancient and medieval worlds to the twenty-first century, it explores historical perspectives not only from historiography itself, but from related areas such as literature, sociology, geography and anthropology.

Clearly written, accessible and student-friendly, this second edition is fully updated throughout to include:

  • An increased spread of case studies from beyond Europe, especially from American and imperial histories.
  • New chapters on important and growing areas of historical inquiry, such as environmental history and digital history
  • Expanded sections on political, cultural and social history
  • More discussion of non-traditional forms of historical representation and knowledge like film, fiction and video games.

Accompanied by a new companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/claus) containing valuable supporting material for students and instructors such as discussion questions, further reading and web links, this book is an essential introduction for all students of historical theory and method.

section |180 pages


part 1|45 pages

Perspectives and Themes

chapter 1|22 pages

Proof and the problem of objectivity

chapter 2|21 pages

Ordering of time

part 2|132 pages

Histories and Philosophies

chapter 3|15 pages

Ideas of history

From the ancients to the Christians

chapter 4|21 pages

From the Middle Ages to the Early Modern

chapter 5|18 pages

Enlightenment and Romanticism

chapter 6|18 pages

The English tradition

chapter 7|21 pages

The North American tradition

chapter 9|14 pages

Postmodernism and postcolonialism

section |239 pages


part 3|161 pages


chapter 10|18 pages

Political history

chapter 11|16 pages

Economic history

chapter 12|19 pages

Social history

chapter 13|14 pages

Cultural history

chapter 14|16 pages

Feminism, gender and women’s history

chapter 15|17 pages

Public history

chapter 16|25 pages

Visual history

chapter 17|17 pages

Global history

chapter 18|17 pages

Environmental history

part 4|75 pages

History and Other Disciplines

chapter 19|19 pages


chapter 20|17 pages


chapter 21|22 pages


chapter 22|15 pages


section |44 pages


part 5|42 pages

Doing History

chapter 23|21 pages

Archives in a digital world

chapter 24|19 pages

Oral history