The Whig Interpretation of History by Herbert Butterfield

The Whig historian studies the past with reference to the present. He looks for agency in history. And, in his search for origins and causes, he can easily select those facts that give support to his thesis and thus eliminate other facts equally important to the total picture. The Whig historian tends to judge, to make history answer questions, and to overdramatize by simplification and organization around attractive themes. The value of history, however, as Professor Butterfield shows, lies in the richness of its recovery of the concrete life of the past. The true historian studies the past for its own sake. He sees 'in each generation a clash of wills out of which there emerges something that probably now man ever willed, ' and his creative work is to make the past intelligible to the present by insight and sympathy with the conditions of the past.

The 440th greatest nonfiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - The 50 Best Books of the Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Whig Interpretation of History Paperback 488215 $9.99 $1.87 1965
The Whig Interpretation of History Paperback 5653754 $2.99
Whig Interpretation of History Hardcover 5732609 $1,507.20 $21.39
The whig interpretation of history Hardcover 5842290 $45.50