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A deconstruction of the modern history book as artifact, How to Read a History Book explains who writes history books, how the writers are trained, and why they write them. It also discusses genre, bias (political and otherwise) and how to read history books between the lines. Written for undergraduates, intro graduate students and anyone with an informed interest in the subject, How to Read a History Book demonstrates that, rather than being objects that fall from the sky, history books are actually socially-constructed artifacts reflecting all the contradictions of modern meritocratic capitalism.
Marshall T. Poe is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a writer, and is founder and editor of the New Books Network. He lives in Northampton, MA.