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Modern relativism and postmodern thought in culture and language challenge the "truth" of history. This text considers how all historians, confined by the concepts and forms of argument of their own cultures, can still discover truths about the past. Presenting a study of various historical explanations and interpretations, this book evaluates their success as accounts of the past. The author contests that the variety of historical interpretations and subjectivity does not exclude the possibility of their truth. Through an examination of the constraints of history, the author argues that although historical descriptions do "not" mirror the past they can correlate with it a regular and definable way. The book explores a position between the two extremes of believing that history perfectly represents the past and that history can tell us nothing true of the past.
C. Behan McCullagh has been a lecturer in History at Melbourne University and currently lectures in Philosophy at La Trobe University, Australia