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"Atheists these days aren't miserable enough!"
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trentvoyager
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Jim wrote:
Well, depending on whether or not one wants a historian who wears his bias as a badge of honour, i suppose.


Always been my problem with him too.
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Mr Spock
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim wrote:
Well, depending on whether or not one wants a historian who wears his bias as a badge of honour, i suppose.


As long as you're not bias
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Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep.
That's why, if I'm doing research on a specific topic, espicially in relatively modern history, I always use a range of historians, trying to select some from as wide a political spectrum as possible.
Starkey is OK if all you want is history from a Conservative (Large 'C' deliberate) POV.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps it's a fault to which historians are particularly prone? Without interpretation history can end up as rather a long and dry list of names and dates.
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Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's where my discipline of Egyptology gets landed in the proverbial.
So-called acclaimed historians publish a theory, others try to mke the evidence fit it, and write a 'history' to fit their conclusions...as time goes by, this becomes fact - when the truth may be totally unrelated to the 'history' accepted as fact in all the textbooks thanks to romanticising notions of nineteenth and twentieth century 'experts'.
Hence my desire for as many opinions as possible before formulating my own, in the full realisation that it IS only opinion, and subject to scrutiny.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim wrote:
Hence my desire for as many opinions as possible before formulating my own, in the full realisation that it IS only opinion, and subject to scrutiny.

Jim, old fruit, old bean, old stick, old pal o'mine, in any other area that would be spoken like a true unbeliever
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Ketty
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim wrote:
An excellent historian?


Yes, in that he always makes it interesting (well, for me at least).  He amuses and entertains me.

Jim wrote:
Is that supposed to be ironic?


No.
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Lexilogio
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim wrote:
Well, depending on whether or not one wants a historian who wears his bias as a badge of honour, i suppose.


I think all of the TV ones do - don't they?
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't make for ratings-worthy TV otherwise. The real spadework of real history and historians, the minutiae and drudgery and attention to fine detail, wouldn't make it to our telly boxes. Something like Kennth Clark's Civilisation and Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man wouldn't get anywhere near a TV these days.
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Jim
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neil Oliver is OK (I have to say that as I just completed a course in medieval Celtic and Scottish history in which he was a tutor.)
He's a very nice guy to talk to, and his politics are never shown on TV.
He does belong to a party, though, but I very much doubt if anyone could guess which one!

Simon Shauma's last outing om Israel was frakly dismal.


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