History is the systematic study of the past as it relates to human development. Prehistorical events prior to the invention of written records are often regarded as prehistoric history. “Myths” is an umbrella phrase including the oral tradition, cultural memory, oral history, oral tradition, oral storytelling, archeology, archeological findings, literary works, and the recording or interpretation of such oral tradition. The word “history” refers to a body of knowledge developed over time that provides insight into the actions of people within the broader context of their social interactions and historical development.
History has been called the science of history, but this label has certain limiting characteristics. Social scientists in particular question the methods of historians, especially academic historians, as being biased due to their use of social science “methodology.” In addition, historians have been accused of subjectivity due to the strict criteria by which they analyze and interpret events and other forms of evidence. Historians have also been accused of romanticism, economism, revisionism, whiteness, nationalism, anti-intellectualism, anti-socialism, collectivism, and revisionism. These accusations are not substantiated by any facts, but some historians have been accused of practicing anti-intellectualism.
The discipline of history has been widely expanded through the work of many scholars, including such notables as Edward Said, John Kenneth Galbraith, Henry Kissinger, Richard Cohen, Christopher Hillman, Arnold Bennett, Howard Roberts, and Samuel Tooley. Other historians who have produced important works regarding historical research include David Greenberg, Dennis Linder, Ronald D. Clark, John M. Franke, George Will, and Barbara E. Frieling. Most of the most prominent historians have received multiple awards for their historical works. Many of these individuals have been criticized by other social scientists and historians.
The critics of historians have frequently challenged their methods, observations, and conclusions regarding events and people. They maintain that by examining only one side of an argument, it is possible to arrive at a conclusion more favorable to that one side. For instance, if both sides of an argument agree that white-skinned people are inferior, one could easily conclude that these people are the victims of a cruel white power structure, rather than the architects of a superior race’s advancement. Similarly, social scientists who support the view that economic policies have detrimental effects on a nation’s racial or ethnic cohesion may arrive at the conclusion that welfare policies lead to poor economic conditions for blacks, while higher levels of taxation result in wealth-transfer arrangements that benefit whites. It is this sort of diversity that is often criticized by historians of particular factions.
Historians have long since realized that examining only one perspective can be risky, especially when it leads to an opinion that runs contrary to other points of view. Furthermore, certain events, like those that occurred during the holocaust, are beyond the pale of human knowledge or understanding. Reliable quantitative historical data cannot be obtained, as there was no way to tell at what time these acts of extermination or mass murder were perpetrated. By relying on scholars with professional credentials to interpret these undocumented events, historians attempt to put forward a clearer picture of how these tragedies occurred. While critics of historians argue against the absolute truth of their conclusions, most historians will defend their methods based on evidence found through research.
There are a variety of different perspectives that historians of all kinds have offered in the past and present. Whether you agree with them or not, one thing that is clear is that the field of historical study has been extremely diverse since the dawn of history itself. Historians who support a particular point of view will often cite primary sources from primary sources in their arguments. Primary sources are the documents that were used to make a particular historical event, place, or person notable. Primary sources include such things as diaries, memoirs, letters, laws, pamphlets, sermons, diaries, and written work from various cultures and time periods.