Just a quick post to alert everyone to Freud, Murder and Fame, a free Kindle book on critical thinking as it applies to differentiating historical fiction from historical fact. It serves as a primer on the importance of critically evaluating historical interpretations. Here is how the author describes it in the Introduction:
Specifically, this book was … written for the reader who needs to learn more about critically evaluating my (or any other) interpretation of historical events. As a college professor, I have found that many students passively accept historical interpretations without demanding supporting evidence and without critically evaluating the quality of the evidence before them. Many of my students seem stunned to learn that history books sometimes contain interpretations that are not fully accurate, or even just plain false. This may be because most historical accounts are solely focused on providing historical information (i.e., facts and interpretations). This focus assumes that readers already understand both the process of recreating the past and the need to critically evaluate such historical recreations.
My book does not make this assumption, but instead tries to teach readers about the critical evaluation of historical interpretation. Thus, another primary focus of this book is to teach the process of history and provide the reader with the tools to critically evaluate historical interpretations. Students should leave a history course with a clear understanding that historical interpretations should not be confused with historical facts, and I have provided many examples that reinforce this important lesson.
The book is a fun and interesting read. It’s written by a friend of mine who teaches critical thinking at the college level. And it’s FREE! Through today, Sunday, April 21. Grab a copy.
Also, if you want another great read by the same friend, grab a copy of When Good Thinking Goes Bad. It truly is a primer on critical thinking. It’s a great companion book to another of my favorites Mistakes Were Made. Dr. Riniolo’s book differs in that it walks you through several critical thinking exercises. I will review it more extensively in a later post, but wanted to at least mention it now while I’m recommending his free Kindle book on Freud. Unfortunately, When Good Thinking Goes Bad is not free, but it’s well worth the small price. It is one of the very few books I like enough that I purchased both the paperback and Kindle versions. This was before Dr. Riniolo and I became friends, so I truly did purchase both versions. If you do grab a copy of this book, you’ll see early in the introduction why I had to overcome my own cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias to keep on reading. And why I contacted Dr. Riniolo to start a dialogue.