Ironically, I don’t think you can buy a copy of Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past at the book exhibit of the American Historical Association meeting this weekend. (Baker Academic does not have a table/booth–if anyone sees a copy please let me know). But I am happy to report that this primer on the study of history has found its way onto a few “best books of 2013” lists.
“Moore Engaging” (Dave Moore) chose Why Study History? as one of his “Favorite Books of 2013.” This is quite an honor, since I know Moore is a prolific reader and bibliophile. It is also good to be on the same list with Shakespeare, Andrew Delbanco, Tracy McKenzie, and Allen Guelzo.
Why Study History? was also chosen as a “Best Church History Book” by the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This list includes Darryl Hart, Timothy George, Alister McGrath, and Tom Nettles (a former seminary professor of mine). I am not familiar with the Fuller Center, but I do like Dustin Bruce’s review:
As one who came to love the study of history during a Master’s program, I regrettably missed the opportunity for a foundational study of the discipline of history that an undergraduate emphasis in the field would have provided. This small tragedy (in my own mind at least) has often left me wondering what basic elements I may be overlooking in my own approach to the study of the past. Enter John Fea and Why Study History? Fea’s work is my favorite historical read of 2013 simply because it helped me glean more from all the other historical books I read. With an engaging style, Fea lays out a foundation for a responsible, useful, and distinctly Christian study of history. While the book’s aim is undergraduate students of history, the book is a worthy read for anyone looking for an introduction (or refresher) to the formal study of history. If you missed it on your 2013 reading list, I encourage you to make room for it during 2014.
Thanks David and Dustin!
Tim Lacy says
Kudos, John! Congrats on making a few lists. I'd like to read your book some day, but I'm trapped in a little vortex of obligations that means it won't happen, at earliest, until the summer. – TL
John Fea says