By Roger Adelson
Speaking of History is a collection of fourteen interviews with prominent historians that originally appeared in The Historian between 1990 and 1993. Each of these scholars discusses at length historical methodology, the notion of historical perspective, and ultimately how he or she interprets the past. In the process they explore convenient myths about class, culture, gender, environment, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, and the nature of work. What is of particular significance about this set of interviewees is the fact that each has approached the process of research and historical writing by applying a variety of techniques from the broad spectrum of the humanities, liberal arts, and social and natural sciences; each has avoided narrow specialization by comparing the particular contexts they study with other times and places. Collectively, they see the study of history in a global perspective. In the process, each raises questions that help to explain the past, understand the present, and anticipate the future.