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There's this non-fiction book Désirée and I'm writing a review on it. I'd like to make a sentence which means I like the book because it narrates the history of France and addresses horrible things that happened back then. In my native language I can use a word which the literal translation would read challenge to make a sentence with that sort of meaning.

I found the book fascinating because it challenges French history.

Does challenge a good choice of word? If not, how can I rewrite my sentence?

Edit

The book probably wasn't the first to bring up the details and things behind the scene, so the truth was there already for anyone to look up but the popular books don't include them most often. They majorly deal with the results like Napoleon conquered that army. As a result, the public don't normally know about the details which are often shocking and horrible. Now suddenly a book takes off and put all things together and present them. That's the concept that I'm looking for a word for.

  • If you mean that it covers aspects of French history that other history books leave out, you might say "it presents an uncensored version of French history" or "it does not white-wash French history". Note: In this case you do not use "the" before French. – James Jun 18 '18 at 8:39
  • It's not clear what you're trying to say. ...because it narrates the history of France and addresses horrible things that happened back than – there's no single word that means exactly that, I'm sure. Did you mean expose the truth? Challenge, on the other hand, means "dispute the truth". – userr2684291 Jun 18 '18 at 9:44
  • @userr2684291 The book probably wasn't the first to bring up the details and things behind the scene so the truth was there already for anyone to look up but you see the popular books don't include them they majorly deal with the results like Napoleon conquered that army, so the public don't know about the details which are often shocking and horrible. Now suddenly a book takes off and put all things together and present them. Is it exposing the truth? If yes, can I use challenge? – Yuri Jun 18 '18 at 10:41
  • @James Thank you James I edited my post. I think there are some good suggestions in your comment. Would you mind reading my comment above, too and decide if still those words that you suggest come to mind? – Yuri Jun 18 '18 at 10:44
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    History cannot respond to the challenge. You would need to say something like "challenges the received view of the period". That is elliptical. The implication is that they are being challenged who present or accept this view. books.google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 18 '18 at 11:15
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You can use the word 'challenge' in this situation but not with 'French history' alone. In English it doesn't make sense to say something 'challenges French history'. You could say the book challenges the common perspective on French history, or that it challenges the idea that French history consists of only noble acts.

In English, the word 'history' can mean

  1. historical events, whether they've been written about or not
  2. the written opinions about and interpretion of historical events

You can challenge #2, but you can't challenge #1. The events are factual.

When you say, 'French history', the common understanding is that you're referring to #1, which can't be challenged. So you have to make it clear that you're talking about #2.

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