Napoleon Series Archive 2003

Re: Better History 101
In Response To: Better History 101 ()

Howie wrote:
Under purposes, numbers 1-5, and half of 7, all, for me, are
subsumed under the objective of providing new information or insight (the
other half of 7, persuading an audience to accept an old conclusion, doesn't carry far with me unless it has one of the other numbers going for it!), and number 8 hopefully has the virtue of some compelling, humerous, or other positive style going for it.

Number 6 leaves me cold, unless there are other of the numbered purposes
present (perhaps in greater measure), for if it is old info be represented,
one wonders how the new presentation is better than the old (simply
availability or affordability)?

BH: Yeah, good points. I agree, but that's the whole point. Each of us want different things from a history, regardless of what the author's actual goals were. There are historians that have never written a text for any other reason than just one of the 8 reasons I listed, even or particularly #6.

Howie wrote:
Among audiences, I presume numbers 1 and 2 are dead losses for a commercial publication. Number 3 must be risky, and number 4, and to an even greater extent, 5, are where the money must be. But even when writing for the latter numbers, presumably some of the virtues of a product aimed at the earlier numbers might be imported in the hopes of helping raise standards of consumption and production...a rising tide lifts all boats, sort of thing...?

BH: Yeah again. There is that tug between commercial and 'academic' publications. And both can produce crap at times.

Howie wrote:
And I heartily agree with your point about wargamers, who can sometimes occupy a sort of amateur niche that seeks to grapple with nuts and bolts issues that otherwise can pass unpondered.

BH: Personally, the difference between 'amateur' and 'professional' can only be determined by two things: whether a person is paid for their work and the actual skill with which they do it. Under those criteria a number of works by wargamers are professional and a number of academic tomes are very amateurish. The fact that wargamers ask different questions of history than most academic circles or the general public really has little to do with any amateur status. Just from the works mentioned on this thread, we have don't have to accept any amateur 'niche.'

Bill H.

Messages In This Thread

Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Better History 101
Re: Better History 101
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Bad History and Relativism
Re: The history book I would like to have written
Re: The history book I would like to have written
Re: The history book I would like to have written
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Rory Muir's "Salamanca".
Early Christmas
Re: Quotes
Re: Early Christmas
Re: Early Christmas
Limits of Narrative
Re: Limits of Narrative
Feu de Joie for Rory Muir
Why Write History?
How We Grow
Re: How We Grow
Re: How We Grow
Re: How We Grow
Right Angle
Re: Right Angle
Footnoting
Re: Right Angle
... Left Angle
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Re: ... Left Angle
Re: ... Left Angle
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Only 'quite intelligent'?
Re: Only 'quite intelligent'?
Re: ... Left Angle
Re: ... Left Angle
Audiences
Re: Audiences
Follow Ups or Spin Offs
Re: Follow Ups or Spin Offs
Re: Audiences
Re: Right Angle
Re: How We Grow
Reach for your Swords !
Re: Reach for your Swords !
"Full Monty" Footnotes!!
Re: "Full Monty" Footnotes!!
Re: "Full Monty" Footnotes!!
Long Footnotes
Re: Reach for your Swords !
Fair Points
When I was child, I spoke as a child
In defence of Chandler
Re: In defence of Chandler
Re: In defence of Chandler
Re: In defence of Chandler
Re: In defence of Chandler
Re: When I was child, I spoke as a child
Re: When I was child, I spoke as a child
Re: When I was child, I spoke as a child
Re: Limits of Narrative
The Pits
Re: Limits of Narrative
And Good, Durable History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Re: Bad History
Good Military History