Professor Grumpy's Historical Manifesto
October 16, 2012 3:58 AM Subscribe
Put another way
posted by MartinWisse (23 comments total)
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, the historian is the ‘Internal Affairs guy’. This is a well-known figure in popular TV ‘cop shows’ and rarely a ‘good guy’. He or she is there to suppose that the hero has lied or done something wrong and that the villains might have been wronged or be telling the truth. The character rarely turns out to be as unsettling as that but it works as an analogy. For me, the historian is not there to provide comforting truths but to question them. The historian must always be prepared to wonder whether the ‘heroes’ of history are not, in fact, the villains,
Noted Late Antiquity/Early Middle Ages historian Guy Halsall
shares his view of what studying history and being a historian is about.