This book’s self-styled framework for debating new approaches to history is to be applauded. Historians are very good, by and large, at debating the nature of the past in terms of “competing histories.” Certainly, and maybe unfortunately, however, “the past” is always secondary to “its history” and historians. In the absence of the past, all we can have in terms of engaging with the past, is “the history” that we regularly and constantly “author into a new version of past existence.”

An old postmodernist (as this reviewer happens to be) is undoubtedly the worst kind of reviewer for Debating New Approaches to History, earnest as it is. This collection’s proposal that we trudge through the notion of the “anthropocene and more-than-human-history” to recover the past (oddly the index makes no reference to “the past”) is hardly persuasive (6).

Contrary to expectation, the notion of debating new approaches to “doing...

You do not currently have access to this content.