Historical Evidence and Argument

Historians know about the past because they examine the evidence. But what exactly is evidence, how do historians know what it means - and how can we trust them to get it right? Historian David Henige tackles such questions of historical reliability head on in his skeptical, unsparing, and acerbically witty Historical Evidence and Argument . Systematic doubt is his watchword, and he practices what he preaches through a variety of insightful assessments of historical controversies for example, over the dating of artifacts and the textual analysis of translated documents. Skepticism, Henige contends, forces us to recognize the limits of our knowledge, but it is also a positive force that stimulates new scholarship to counter it.