Revisionism Revisited

Ian Mortimer takes issue with those who put limits on historians’ questionings of the past.

On June 16th, 2003, George Bush gave a speech in which he defended his decision to take military action against Iraq. The description he gave of those who had suggested that there had never been a real threat from Saddam Hussein’s regime was startling: ‘Now there are some who would like to rewrite history – revisionist historians is what I like to call them ...’. While the phrase suggests that Mr Bush is not particularly familiar with the nature or methods of revisionist history, his statement places in a very negative context anyone who might query whether assumptions about the past – including those assumptions made in the past – were actually correct.

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