E H Carr is principally a critic of the historiography that he sees as essential. This is primarily because he thinks it is impossible to maintain complete objectivity in History. Carr, writing about this topic, challenges Acton and Ranke’s school of History. They believed History should be written objectively and independent of historian interpretation'. Where the ‘facts speak for themself’. It also discusses the factors that lead to an interpretation. What is History? is effective in Carr’s attempt to present a new interpretation of the topic. The book convinces the reader of this correct view.
E H Carr believed that it was essential to learn the history of historiography before studying the facts. It is crucial to examine Carr’s work as a historian to assess its reliability and utility. British diplomat who took up the role of a government official in 1916. Later, he became an expert historian on the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1929. Carr is a respected diplomat and historian and this book has the credibility to be useful and trusted. This book also provides a new and sensible interpretation of historiography. Although this book is his first publication in this field, it does not make Carr’s interpretation less valid or better presented. Carr discredits the idea of History as objective. His argument is that History, by its nature and subject to historians, can be subjective. He claims historians can decide that an event is historical because they have written about it. Carr effectively illustrates this point with an example. It is said that many people have crossed Rubicon but Caesar’s crossing is the only one that is a historical fact. Carr further claims that historians “are the products of history”. This implies that historians construct their interpretations according to the context in which they were placed and can therefore be biased. Carr’s argument for objectivity is concise and clear throughout. Carr uses examples to make it clear.
It also helps the reader understand history better. The book is written in a non-academic manner. The book is not intellectually advanced or sophisticated in its explanations, but E H Carr chooses to use more everyday vocabulary to make it accessible to a wider audience, both academics as well as non-academics. This is an effective way for Carr to reach his goals.
A concise publication makes it easier to read. This is a plus for those who want to understand historiography in a simple and straightforward way. This book is extremely useful for History students because it provides a thorough but not over-explained overview on historiography as well as the relationship between historians.
What is History? While What is History? is an excellent book for E H Carr’s interpretations, there are some things that can be criticized. Carr, an expert on Soviet Union’s decade following the Bolshevik claim for power, has a tendency write frequently about key Bolshevik leaders from Trotsky to Stalin. Take this passage from the book.
Carr is not the only one who talks in-depth about the Soviet Union. It is possible, however, that it will be too detailed for others.
E H Carr’s What is History? is the final product. Carr’s interpretations on historiography are concisely presented in EH Carr’s What Is History? The book is sometimes too focused on Russian history. However, Carr’s use of analogies and examples, combined with his simple vocabulary, makes it a popular publication that many readers enjoy and convinces them of his ideas. Carr felt that history is constantly changing and wrote the final chapter.