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In this volume, English historian Richard Evans offers a defence of the importance of his craft. At a time of deep scepticism about our ability to learn anything from the past, even to recapture any serious sense of past cultures and ways of life, Evans shows us why history is both possible and necessary. His demolition of the wilder claims of postmodern historians, who deny the possibility of any realistic grasp of history, seeks to be witty and well balanced. He takes us into the historians' workshop to show us just how good history gets written, and explains the deadly political dangers of losing a historical perspective on the way we live our lives. This new edition contains an extensive afterword by the author.