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Grafton - Book Report/Review Example

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Class name Date assignment is due Title The footnote: A Curious History by Anthony Grafton is an entertaining and challenging work about the development of the historical discipline. The author tries to show the similarity between modern discussions of history and the history discussions of the past generations…
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Download file to see previous pages... The book explains in detail the history, making the readers travel from the nineteenth century to the sixteenth century. The footnotes itself takes readers along a bundle of sources and disputations. Footnotes do make the author more accountable for the statements he made. Moreover footnotes make the reader more critical about the presented information. According to Grafton, footnotes are a wonderful tool for presenting history. The most interesting section of the book is the two-page part where the author explains the duty of a historian. There he explains the real duty of a historian. This part was interesting to me as it explains the great battle every historian encounters. Historians get perplexed before the encounter between entertainment and authority. Authority gets lost while maintaining an entertainment value. Good historians however make both go together. Grafton is a great story teller though his story is of little benefit for today. He has also failed to bring a helpful conclusion Even though the history of the footnote appears like an uninteresting topic, it presents several interesting insights about the way historians practiced their trade. What makes the book powerful is not just its metaphorical humor and sense of humor that are seldom found in the works of other historians. The detailed and systematic usage of footnotes, the effective but forgotten tool of intellectual historians, makes the book a powerful and unusual one. The author uses a reverse chronological order to convey the details of the history of footnotes. Alongside he attempts to explain the purpose and use of footnotes. The author has also made an interesting use of footnotes. The author further displays his authority through the mastery of four languages. His narrative of the footnote is very much useful for history students and academic historians. The book has helped me understand the real meaning of footnotes and its applications. Grafton’s account taught me the usages of footnotes. The book is a beautiful overview of the history of using footnotes, citing sources in early writings of the Western history, from the Renaissance period to the contemporary period (specially focusing on Germany). The author explains the attitudes shown towards various source materials and the different ways of proving and referencing historical claims. Historical claims of different historians along the ages and their result on the practice of historical scholarship is explained in the wonderful account of Anthony Grafton. The author also explains the different research practices. The book is a history of sourcing practices. It further gives detailed explanation of the profiles of famous proficient writers like Gibbon, Ranke, Hume, Suetonius and various others. The book also gives the fascinating information about the relevant movements in the practice of history. The book covers the Berlin seminar tradition, Italian diplomatic histories, and other crucial practices. The typographical innovation of different writers is also included in the book. The scholarly and professional conflicts of these writers created different types of citation practices that are suitable for their intentions and context. The book focuses fully on historical writing. The author chose the history of a particular discipline that made him reach a wider audience. Even though the author sometimes gives overemphasis to historiography, forgetting that the subject is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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