A History of Histories

A History of Histories
John Burrow

This scholarly account of the history of (written) history is quite professionally handled and densely informative – my notes went on for a couple of pages – but it’s not always an easy read. And there are other problems. The first of these has to do with the weighting of the material: the early days of antiquity get by far the fullest coverage, with modern times being rushed through very quickly (there are 16 pages on Polybius, and only 53 on all of the twentieth century). I also would have liked more of a synthesis of the various themes Burrow outlines, showing how they fit together in a larger framework. That said, this is still an admirable overview of a demanding subject.