As interesting as counterfactualism may be, we must be careful with its use. Paul Dukes warns against placing undue reliance on what might happen at the expense of what did.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, as Tocqueville perceptively remarked, Russia and the United States had grown to nationhood almost unnoticed. ‘The world learned of their existence and their greatness at almost the same time’. By Paul Dukes.
Historians are becoming more ambitious in the breadth and depth of their coverage. Is there a danger that this will reduce the role of humans to a bit part? Not necessarily, says Paul Dukes.