Border crossings: History, fiction, and Dead Certainties

Assesses Simon Schama's `Dead Certainties' in the light of the complex relationship between history and fiction, which share some limited common territory. Examples cited from Mary Chesnut, Oscar Handlin, Georg Lukacs, Herman Melville, and others; Some kinship to the skepticism found in `the new historicism' and `deconstruction'; Differences from the fashionable `inverted positivism'; Details.