Past imperfect: facts, fictions, and fraud: American history from Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellesiles, Ellis, and Goodwin
Hoffer, Peter Charles
Program air date: November 21, 2004
Woodrow Wilson, like many men of his generation, wanted to impose a version of America's founding identity: it was a land of the free and a home of the brave. But not the braves. Or the slaves. Or the disenfranchised women. So the history of Wilson's generation omitted a significant proportion of the population in favor of a perspective that was predominantly white, male, and Protestant. "That flaw would become a fissure and eventually a schism. A new history arose which, written in part by radicals and liberals, had little use for the noble and the heroic, and rankled many who wanted a celebratory rather than a critical history. To this combustible mixture of elements was added the flame of public debate. History in the 1990s was a minefield of competing passions, political views, and prejudices. It was dangerous ground, and, at the end of the decade, four of the nation's most respected and popular historians were almost destroyed on it: Michael Bellesiles, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Joseph Ellis." "This is their story, set against the wider narrative of America's history. It may be, as Flaubert put it, that "Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times." To which he could have added: falsify, plagiarize, and politicize, because that's the other story of America's history."--Book Jacket.
"Bellesiles, Michael A."
"Goodwin, Doris Kearns."
"Ambrose, Stephen E."
"Ellis, Joseph J."
"Historiography--Social aspects--United States--History--20th century."
"Historiography--Political aspects--United States--History--20th century."
"Professional ethics--United States--Case studies."
Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives
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