Friday, April 10, 2015

Historians Attack the Data and the Ethics of Colleagues' Manifesto

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 10th, 2015


In The History Manifesto, Jo Guldi and David Armitage challenged their fellow historians with a "call to arms." For years, the book argued, historians had narrowed their research and retreated from the public sphere. But problems like climate change and inequality demand big-picture thinking. Historians should supply it.
Cambridge University Press published The History Manifesto free online as an open-access experiment. The slim text has provoked an international reaction since its release in October, with dozens of commentaries in newspapers, blogs, journals, and on the BBC, where Mr. Armitage debated the book with a member of Parliament. Much of the reaction has been positive. Writers have praised the manifesto for highlighting the diminution of historians’ influence on policy and for sounding a "clarion call" to rethink the study of the past.

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