A quick response to Max Boot’s critique of historiansRoundup
tags: Max Boot, History Profession, public engagement
Glenn David Brasher is an instructor of history at the University of Alabama.
So an opinion piece by Max Boot appeared today in the Washington Post that has historians riled up and angry, venting and offering a corrective on Twitter and elsewhere.
The short of it: Boot argues Americans today don’t know the nation’s history very well, Trump’s election is an indication of that, and professional historians are somewhat to blame for the problem because they have turned away from more traditional and narrative history (“perversely” neglecting political, economic, and military history), and are not engaged with the public.
Here’s my humble and quick response:
First, there is not much proof today’s Americans are less educated about historical facts than they were in the past. Ironically, Boot criticizes the “Make America Great Again” slogan for its hearkening to a Golden Age that never existed. He is right, of course, but Boot is a little guilty of doing the same thing when he seemingly implies there was a Golden Age when Americans knew their history better than they do now.
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