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Australian scholar Keith Windschuttle is one of the fieriest participants in the debate about the practice of history. In The Killing of History he decries the growth of so-called cultural studies in place of the old-fashioned facts-and-chronologies approach. Windschuttle's passion sometimes carries him a bit too far, but he lands many solid punches, such as when he takes on the heavily published French scholar Michel de Certeau, who has called writing a tool of the power elite. "For someone who thinks writing is a form of oppression," Windschuttle twits, "he has done a lot of writing." Elsewhere Windschuttle attacks efforts to explain away such matters as human sacrifice among the Aztecs, saying that to accept such behavior is akin to "accepting the cultures of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia as equal but different." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Australian author and lecturer in history, social science, and media, Windschuttle presents an articulate, acerbic, sustained but balanced attack on postmodernist theory and its influence on the practice of history. After a survey of the major tenets of postmodern theory with its radical relativism, the author examines a series of case studies where the practice has been applied, such as Cortes's conquest of Mexico, movie versions of Mutiny on the Bounty, and the Hawaiian system of signs in the interpretation of Captain Cook's existence. He also includes a long chapter on Foucault. Showing the inconsistencies, errors, contradictions, and illogic that resulted from the postmodernist approach, he ultimately argues that the relativism and rejection of empirical research by such theorists produces a tribalism that disarms the marginalized groups it proposes to liberate. While oriented toward Australian intellectual circles, this book is readily accessible and deserves a wide audience.?Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One reviewer, Bruce H, in agreeing with Windschuttle remarks "Windschuttle makes his case...". Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Daniel M
This is a superb book, one that not only deflates the arguments of postmodern theory, but gets down to cases, demonstrating the flaws of postmodernism's pomps and works in treating... Read morePublished on July 24 2003 by Richard B. Schwartz
In case any reader might be put off by "Ray from Victoria" writing on 12 Jan 2003 "its author is less concerned with the purity of history than with defending a... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by Jeremiah
At least some academics interested in the theory of "history" seem to be excited about this book. I suspect they are the anally retentive ones who feel threatened by any attempt... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by Ray
Relativism should simply be the recognition that "the map is not the territory" (A. Korzybski). Postmodernists, to varying degrees, take this insight and just start randomly... Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2002 by S. Allan
Don't let the title of the book fool you. While the title may seem to be something of an exaggeration, I think Windschuttle makes his case. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2002 by Bruce H
If you ever wonder who killed truth and the whole nature of empirical history, even empirical science, Windshuttle has the answer and it is unequivocally the fault of the... Read morePublished on July 31 2002 by Rodney J. Szasz
This book is both entertaining and informative, and not only for those focused on history as a discipline. The structuralist/postmodernist/et. al. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2001