Surely, through most of the history of history writing, the dominant mode of recalling that past has been narrative, with all that this implies about literary crafting and persuasive intent.
Not the best sentence possible. The "this" refers back to "the dominant mode", which is the narrative mode, i.e. writing history in the form of stories. It then goes on to say what "this" implies about "literary crafting". But the author has things the wrong way round. The narrative mode doesn't imply anything about literary crafting. Rather, the fact of literary crafting implies something about the narrative mode, which is that historical accuracy will be sacrificed for artistic purposes, facts distorted or embellished, important details omitted where they don't serve a nice dramatic arc.
The meaning would be clearer if you replaced about with in terms of.
"...with all that this implies [about the narrative mode] in terms of literary crafting and persuasive intent".
If you're unclear about the meaning of "with all that this implies", you can re-word it as "when you consider what this implies".