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History / African Studies / Archeology


Historical Evidence and Argument
David Henige

"Henige takes the study of historical methodology to a new level."
—David C. Conrad, State University of New York–Oswego

Historians know about the past because they examine the evidence. But what exactly is "evidence," how do historians know what it means—and how can we trust them to get it right? Historian David Henige tackles such questions of historical reliability head-on in his skeptical, unsparing, and acerbically witty Historical Evidence and Argument. "Systematic doubt" is his watchword, and he practices what he preaches through a variety of insightful assessments of historical controversies—for example, over the dating of artifacts and the textual analysis of translated documents. Skepticism, Henige contends, forces us to recognize the limits of our knowledge, but it is also a positive force that stimulates new scholarship to counter it.

"There is no other book like this one in its breadth and scope . . . a deftly acerbic series of sketches of the many ways that historians misread and misuse evidence."
—Eric Gable, Mary Washington College

David Henige is the African studies bibliographer at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and editor of several national series on African history.

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cover of Henige's book is dark blue with some faint graph lines

January 2006
LC: 2005010203 D
320 pp.  6 x 9

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Cloth $26.95
ISBN 978-0-299-21410-4
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