This book is addressed primarily to students who are embarking upon a study of the question, ‘what is history?’ It has been written both as an introduction (in the literal sense that there may be some points in what follows that have not been encountered before) and as a polemic. In the following pages I am running a particular argument as to what I think history is, not that you should accept it but rather that you might engage critically with it. The aim, throughout, is to help in the development of your own self-consciously held (reflexive) position on history . . . to be in control of your own discourse.1