Dust, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In this book, Carolyn Steedman has produced a sometimes irreverent investigation into how modern historiography has developed.

Writing about the practice and writing of history, she considers the immutable, stubborn set of beliefs about the material world, past and present, inherited from the 19th century, with which modern history writing attempts to grapple.

Drawing on over five years worth of her own published and unpublished writing, the author has produced a sustained argument about the way in which history writing belongs to the currents of thought shaping the modern world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historiography
  • ISBN: 9780719060151



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I'm not a historian, and thus not the target audience, and hence this review is highly subjective. I felt that most of the essays in this book revolved around literary-theory-type ramblings, only rarely getting to the bone of the matter. It is not a work focussing on the archive as such, I'd rather say it is about the process of writing history and what history-writing is and means and what historians say and should be saying. The primary focus, I guess, is on the development of historiography from the nineteenth century, and what insights can be gleaned by returning to those 19C historians. I didn't find this particularly useful, but others undoubtedly will.

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