• Making History

  • The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past
  • By: Richard Cohen
  • Narrated by: Richard Cohen
  • Length: 26 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating epic exploration of who gets to record the world’s history—from Julius Caesar to William Shakespeare to Ken Burns—and how their biases influence our understanding about the past.

There are many stories we can spin about previous ages, but which accounts get told? And by whom? Is there even such a thing as “objective” history? In this lively and thought-provoking book, Richard Cohen reveals how professional historians and other equally significant witnesses, such as the writers of the Bible, novelists, and political propagandists, influence what becomes the accepted record. Cohen argues, for example, that some historians are practitioners of “Bad History” and twist reality to glorify themselves or their country.

Making History investigates the published works and private utterances of our greatest chroniclers to discover the agendas that informed theirand ourviews of the world. From the origins of history writing, when such an activity itself seemed revolutionary, through to television and the digital age, Cohen brings captivating figures to vivid light, from Thucydides and Tacitus to Voltaire and Gibbon, Winston Churchill and Henry Louis Gates. Rich in complex truths and surprising anecdotes, the result is a revealing exploration of both the aims and art of history-making, one that will lead us to rethink how we learn about our past and about ourselves.

©2021 Richard Cohen. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Missing 20 pages from book

Missing first 20 pages from chapter 10. Audible refuses to take responsibility. What’s going on?

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hard to Take!

It's truly painful to listen to the reading of this tedious account that blends some interesting information into a boatload of mind-numbing, trivial details. No decent "history of history" should be so boring! Had the author been my professor, I would have dropped the class.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RR
  • 06-16-22

Brilliant, intellectually ambitious, wide-ranging

Necessarily limited to Western historiography.

Only weakness: author's unfortunate efforts to sound "American" in citing sources.