Saturday, July 06, 2013

How real historians work

"Perceptive historians, immersed in their materials, note gaps in our knowledge that should be filled and anomalies in the data -- inconsistencies and discrepancies -- which impel them or others to find explanations... They have an intellectual -- but not a political or ideological -- stake in the outcome. They don't insist that the explanations come out in a particular way, only that the discrepancies be reconciled, the open questions answered, and the newly perceived worlds explored and explain." -- Bernard Bailyn, On the teaching and writing of history, p. 41

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The primacy of the concrete

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