All analysis is an abridgement of narrative

"It may, of course, be the case that all analysis is only an abridgment of narrative, so that inadequacies introduced at the narrative stage are magnified and caricatured by the process of abridgment. If abridgment is a regrettable necessity, only the utmost rigour in its narrative premises can guard against the wildest results: anachronism and teleology can best disguised in the form of a table of statistics, valuable though quantifying techniques potentially are." --J.C.D. Clark, Revolution and Rebellion: State and society in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, p. 19

UPDATE: The funny thing here is I finished the book I am reviewing earlier today, and went looking for some light reading tonight. (In this context, "light reading" means "reading that is not directly work-related.") When I picked up this book off of a shelf I had no clue that the first few pages would provide several quotes supporting my recent contentions about the relationship between history and the other social sciences. But there they were.)

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