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Voice of the Past

Oral History

Third Edition

Paul Thompson

March 2000

ISBN: 9780192893178

384 pages

In Stock

Price: £23.49



In this revised edition of Paul Thompson's successful book, he traces oral history through its own past and weighs up the recent achievements of this international movement. He challenges myths of historical scholarship and looks at the use of oral sources by the historian. The author offers advice on designing a project; discusses reliability of oral evidence; considers the context of the development of historical writing including it's social function.; and looks at memory, the self and the use of drama and therapy. This new edition has been substantially revised and updated and includes an expanded discussion of narrative approaches and looks at new technology used in the recording of information.

  • Part of the OPUS series providing concise, original and authoritative introductions to a wide range of subjects in the humanities and sciences.
  • Substantially updated and revised edition of successful second edition
  • Includes expanded discussion of narrative approaches
  • The text looks at new technology, including video and multimedia, in the recording of oral histories

About the Author(s)

Paul Thompson, Reader in Social History, University of Essex

Table of Contents

    History and the Community
    Historians and Oral History
    The Achievement of Oral History
    Memory and the Self
    The Interview
    Storing and Sifting
    Interpretation: The Making of History
    Further Reading and Notes
    A Life-Story Interview Guide


The Voice of the Past's success is a testament to a broader appeal- not only scholars and students, but museum curators, community and local historians, genealogists, indeed anyone interested in the past.. In the survey of work in the field, Thompson extends his prodigious capacity for sythesising a huge range of the sources available around the world, drawing from many different case studies to make his points. - Paula Hamilton, Oral History Journal, 28/02, Winter 2000; 103.