4th Edition

History on Film/Film on History

By Robert A. Rosenstone Copyright 2024
    286 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    History on Film/Film on History has established itself as a classic treatise on the historical film and its role in bringing the past to life. In the fourth edition of this widely acclaimed text, Robert A. Rosenstone argues that to leave history films out of the discussion of the meaning of the past is to ignore a major means of understanding historical events.

    This book examines what history films convey about the past and how they convey it, demonstrating the need to learn how to read and understand this new visual world and integrating detailed analysis of films such as Schindler’s List, Glory, October, and Reds. Advocating for the dramatic feature as a legitimate way of doing history, this edition includes a new Preface and a new chapter that focuses on films produced in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India, and East Asia.

    Examining the codes and conventions of how these films tell us about the past and providing guidance on how to effectively analyse films as historical interpretations, this book is an essential introduction to the field for students of history and film.



    Preface to the series

    Introduction to the fourth edition

    Introduction to the third edition

    Introduction to the second edition



    Chapter 1 History on film

    Chapter 2 To see the past

    Chapter 3 Mainstream drama

    Chapter 4 Innovative drama

    Chapter 5 Documentary

    Chapter 6 Telling lives

    Chapter 7 Film-maker/historian

    Chapter 8 Engaging the discourse

    Chapter 9 The view from 2017

    Chapter 10 Beyond the West

    Chapter 11 Film on history

    Guide to key reading




    Robert A. Rosenstone is Professor Emeritus of History at the California Institute of Technology. His award-winning biography of John Reed, Romantic Revolutionary (1975), was used as the basis of the multiple Academy Award winner Reds, one of several films on which he served as historical consultant. His other publications include Visions of the Past (1995), Crusade of the Left (1969), Mirror in the Shrine (1988), and Adventures of a Postmodern Historian (2016). He is editor of Revisioning History (1995) and Experiments in Rethinking History (2004), and a Founding Editor of the journal Rethinking History. Rosenstone has lectured widely in the USA, Latin America, Europe, and East Asia, and has served as a visiting faculty member in the University of Barcelona, Kyushu University in Japan, Tolima University in Colombia, the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece.