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Facts on File, 2005. — 1072 p.Those who enjoy contemplating, reading about, and studying the past are accustomed to thinking of history in terms of people and events. Scholars, writers,and historians understand that these people and events are reconstructions rather than realities and that such reconstructions are based most often on documents of one kind or another. Certainly, few historical documents are of greater moment than treaties, the instruments through which tribes, states, and nations have sought to define themselves and their relations to others. Quite literally as old as recorded time, treaties are signposts of historically significant events and windows on historical eras, yet for casual readers and students of history alike they usually figure as little more than passing references or footnotes to what they see as the main story. Historians have focused discussion on astonishingly few of these documents, and it is difficult to find historical treatments of treaties themselves. Those works that do deal with treaties in any depth usually focus on agreements currently in effect, while books concerned with historical treaties seem content to treat them simply as documents, reprinting them with only the most cursory of introductory and interpretive information.
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