If it is in a history book you can trust it. Right? No. I’m afraid not friends, we can’t trust anything without qualification. Historians have been tasked to accomplish an impossible task of reconstructing the past. Once we shed the myth of actually making the map equal the territory and we reset our expectations, history comes alive, it transforms a simple recounting exercise into a hunt for a lost records, a sleuthing out of a series of flawed and biased stories about past events, a study in human nature, and a opportunity to test the limits of the historical record.
In this podcast episode I discuss some problems in properly understanding and evaluating history as a modern (or post-modern) person, the development of the historical craft, and the influences of worldview and philosophy on the writing of history with Russell Stevenson, Brian Whitney, and John Hatch.
Click here to go to Part 2 of the discussion.
Some links to items discussed in the episode: