Conversations About History, Volume 3


Conversations About History, Volume 3, is now available in both electronic format and paperback format on all major booksellers, including:

Also available in this series: Conversations About History, Volume 1, Conversations About History, Volume 2, and Conversations About The History of Ideas.

This Ideas Roadshow Collection includes the following 5 Ideas Roadshow Conversations plus a detailed preface highlighting the connections between the different books. Each individual book is broken into chapters with a detailed introduction and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Eating One’s Own: Examining Civil War – A Conversation with intellectual historian David Armitage, the Lloyd C. Blanfein Professor of History at Harvard University. This conversation covers Armitage’s extensive research on the history of ideas of civil war from Ancient Rome to the present. A salient feature of his work is a strong focus on etymology as it relates to our understanding of how people interpreted (or misinterpreted) and perceived events in history which results in a fascinating exploration of how our understanding of various concepts has been prejudiced by past societies and past beliefs that we might not even be aware of, and how they, in turn, go on to influence other societies; and how this cumulative process frames our understanding of these ideas.

II. China: Up Close and Personal – A Conversation with Karl Gerth, Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies & Professor of History at UC San Diego. This conversation covers the emerging American-style consumer culture of China which is revolutionizing the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese, how it has transformed its economy and lifestyle and has the potential to reshape the world.

III. Sheathing the Bodkin: Combating Suicide – A Conversation with poet, author and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht. This conversation movingly embellishes upon Hecht’s book, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, which is an intellectual and cultural history of the most persuasive arguments against suicide from the Stoics and the Bible to Dante, Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, and Albert Camus.

IV. For the Love of History – A Conversation with Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at the University of Toronto and emeritus Professor of International History and the former warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. This conversation examines Prof. MacMillan’s research on patriotism and nationalism, which are essential themes of her lifelong work on 19th and 20th-century history.

V. The Epicurean Republic – A Conversation with award-winning author and independent scholar Matthew Stewart. Jefferson referred to “the revolutionary part of the [American] Revolution”, which for him meant the founding ideals that would serve as a model for the world on how to build a modern state. This conversation examines how many of these ideals that Jefferson referred to are part of an intellectual thread that passes through key Enlightenment thinkers such as Spinoza and can be traced all the way back to Epicurus.

Conversations About History, Volume 3, includes 5 in-depth Ideas Roadshow Conversations featuring leading historians David Armitage (Harvard), Karl Gerth (UCSD), Jennifer Michael Hecht, Margaret MacMillan (Toronto), and Matthew Stewart.