Keith Jenkins assembled a comprehensive collection of influential texts on historiography and postmodernism in this reader. He provided extracts from historians such as Barthes, Joyce, White, Foucault, Baudrillard, and Ankersmit. Jenkins’s collection included arguments both for and against postmodernism, thus pointing out that history has entered a new era. His personal comments throughout the book were informative and streamlined the collection. He mentioned various exchanges in academic journals and provided a good introduction for the book, noting key issues being discussed in history departments.
Although Jenkins included many of the postmodern masters, he also included opinions from academic journals that were not informative. The book was clearly written for young historians and should not be considered for professionals. The organization of the book could have been improved by explaining the reasons for the chapter orders. Several articles were devoted to interpreting the Holocaust which did not seem to fit with the overall theme of the book. I would not purchase this book or recommend it to my colleagues.
– Hannah S. Bowers
Jenkins, Keith, ed. The Postmodern History Reader. London: Routledge, 1997.