I can’t remember how I discovered this book, but I’m very glad I did.
My review follows on (in?) my vlog. And below it! 🙂
I forgot to mention Rosenstone’s experiences while teaching history in Japan. The descriptions of Kabuki, incessant bowing, shrines, gardens, and the occasional Lost in Translation moments combine to make compulsive (often humorous) reading.
Rosenstone writes with an almost rambling, effusive style—one that borders on stream-of-consciousness at times—that makes his memoir/historical essays/historiography a genuine page-turner.
I also forgot to point out the author does a great job of debunking the notion that historians can or should be completely detached and impartial about the subjects of their study. History, in short, is much more than a dry recitation of facts. As a student of journalism (my major, with a minor in history), I can fully appreciate the sentiment.
Even if you aren’t a fan of history books, you’ll probably enjoy this one. In fact, anyone who thinks history has to be boring should read this book.