Popularizing the Past: Historians, Publishers, and Readers in Postwar America by Nick Witham explores the industry of popular history from Daniel Boorstin to Howard Zinn.
A valedictory column provides a chance to reflect on a decade grappling with what history is and how it should be written.
We know less about some periods than others, but the meaning of ‘Dark Age’ is multifarious and often loaded.
Historians often take creative liberties when setting the scene, but at what point does it become misleading?
The distant past is not often illustrated with plentiful descriptions of everyday life. Instead, the picture has to be put together from different sources, piece by piece, like a jigsaw. But there are often still gaps, which can be filled with historically informed creativity.
E.H. Carr’s belief that the histories we get depend on the questions we ask is more relevant than ever.
How the index helps us to understand, categorise and engage with the world.
Plans to measure the impact of historical research as if it were a science will mean fewer history books that excite the general reader.
Will current crises make it possible to study the ‘uniquely evil’ Third Reich as if it were just another period of the past?
A classic work of history, now 20 years old, reminds us of the power of continuing education for all.