The book does not simply lay down precepts. It presents examples drawn from the author's more than forty years' experience as a working historian. One important chapter, dealing with America's road to war in 1941, shows in unprecedented detail how an interpretation of a major historical issue can be developed. The aim throughout is to throw open the doors of the workshop so that young scholars, both historians and political scientists, can see the sort of thought processes the historian goes through before he or she puts anything on paper. Filled with valuable examples, this is a book anyone serious about conducting historical research will want to have on the bookshelf.
Marc Trachtenberg is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of a number of works on twentieth-century international politics, most notably A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945 to 1963.
"This is an important book, without question. It provides an extremely useful guide for graduate and undergraduate students who want to know more about thinking about international politics and conducting and presenting research. There is nothing in print that speaks as clearly and persuasively to students."--William Stueck, University of Georgia, author of The Korean War: An international History (Princeton)