Reflections on the Uses of History
by Gordon S. Wood
Ok, I give up. I’ve made it through about 3 cassettes and I just can’t take it anymore! I thought this book would be very interesting, but alas, it is just about putting me to sleep on the way to and from work.
The book is a collection of essay-length book reviews of non-fiction history books written by Wood over the past 20 years for Publishers Weekly and The New York Review of Books. As I understand it, his goal is to show how history can be used and misused by historians. Sounds like it could be interesting, right? I mean, as a blogger, I LIVE for book reviews! And I love non-fiction and history books so, for me, this should be a match made in heaven. Not so much.
The biggest problem for me is that I found it all incredibly boring. Wood gives in depth analysis of the books he’s reviewing, critiques the authors methods, explains opposing schools of historical thought, and cites numerous examples of supporting or contradicting evidence. Most of the time I was completely lost. And bored. As with (almost) all my audio books, this one came from the library ... and back it will go as soon as possible.
It has been about a year since I’ve had to abandon a book and now I’m doing it twice in a month (more about the other one coming soon).