Reviewed by Raymond Starr, San Diego State University
The Voice of the Past: Oral History.
By Paul Thompson. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Bibliography. Index. 314 Pages. $12.95 paper.
Since 1978, Paul Thompson’s Voice of the Past has been one of the standard primers on oral history; now he has updated the book in a second edition. Thompson seeks to explore oral history in all its aspects — from general philosophical questions about evidence and sources to more specific issues of oral evidence in particular. One of the best features of the book is the author’s review of the literature regarding oral history; one of the weakest is his material on the mechanical aspects of oral interviewing and processing. This is a thoughtful book which should be required reading for anyone who uses oral sources in the preparation of history.