Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Partisan Scholarship

The left has been peddling its wares in history for decades now (Eric Foner, James McPherson, Dean Sprague, Howard Zinn, Mark Neely, Arthur Schlesinger, Gary Wills, George Fletcher, Doris Kearns "I used to work for LBJ and vacationed with the Kennedys" Goodwin", etc.) and I have yet to hear a solitary clarion call to protest it. It was only when the libertarians started writing on historical subjects (ironic in that most of these writers has been every bit as tough on the Republicans as they've been on the Democrats) that the protesting started and it seems to be getting worse. My thoughts on the subject are clear; namely, that every damn side should be heard and what in the hell are we really worrying about here anyway?

10 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Hang in there; Gingrich is doing some history, and Rove will no doubt start soon.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I can't stand either of those bozos, BB (though I hear that Gingrich is finally coming around to the point that Iraq was doltish).

Rational Nation USA said...

Personally I'm waiting for Dervish of Oz to pen a United States history text.

BB-Idaho said...

It appears that the libertarian historian is rather rare. My understanding is that the 'professional' historian is
taught early on about personal bias, just like many other professions. The referenced article embraces that. I like
McPherson, along with Cooke and Catton, although my interest is
military history of the CW. I would expect that a libertarian
historian would be most interested in civil liberty and
market economics, while a feminist historian would be
most interested in the treatment and lives of women in history:
thus their biases drive their interests?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Libertarians are hugely antiwar and it doesn't matter if its the Republicans doing the killing (Lincoln, McKinley, TR, Nixon, Bush 1, Bush 2) or the Democrats (Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Obama).

dmarks said...

BB: Demographics might have a lot to do with it. With those on the left side often outnumbering libertarians 20 to 1. it is no surprise that there would be few libertarian historians.

The demographic weakness of Libertarians can be twisted in odd ways. One Jersey argued that Libertarians had a poor stand on civil liberties issues than Liberals because there are relatively Libertarians.

BB-Idaho said...

No doubt, dmarks. IMO, most libertarian writers focus on economic theory. In addition, there seem to be different flavors
among them?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I have a big problem with the Paleos, BB, at least when it come to immigration. Way, WAY, too nativistic.

dmarks said...

BB: I suppose one might call Hayek a libertarian historian? But yet again, as you say, he focues more on economic theory.
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Will: Do you have Pat Buchanan in mind? Hie countless columns in which he wants a race war.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I don't know if I would call Buchanan a libertarian (foreign policy, yes). I was probably thinking more of Ilana Mercer and Heather MacDonald (both of whom I respect in other areas).