Napoleon Series Archive 2003

Re: Bad History
In Response To: Re: Bad History ()

Rory:
As for the books of the 1890s to 1914 - don't forget that most of the French, German etc vols were heavily subsidized by their respective armies, and probably had a limited audience, many of them army officers studying for their exams. Which was also part, at least, of Petre's audience, and possibly one of the reasons he was rather dry - textbooks and crammers are not always the most lively reading!

Rory:

I haven't forgotten. That's what I meant by the audience. If Petre had written his history differently, would it have been acceptable? Are their any examples of these subsidized historians writing differently?

Again, the question is one of good history compared to good reading. Both are important, but separate issues. Petre could fail today as a writer and still be a fine historian, or vise versa. Was Petre's history sound? Were his conclusions well supported? Etc. Etc.

I was reading Geoffrey Wawro's book on the Franco-Austrian War of 1866. Now this guy is a professional, with a position at a war college, and has a program on the history channel. Yet, in the first eight pages of his history, he writes several silly things including this on page 8:

"The first triumph of these new French "shock tactics" was Valmy in 1792, when a rapidly assembled army of French conscripts advancing behind a heavy cannonade put an army of Prussian professional to rout."

Now there are so many things glaringly wrong with this one sentence, you have to wonder what kind of research Wawro did. The writing is just wonderful, the history it relates is for the birds. Yet, it is a widely respected piece of work by a respected historian that made money.

Bill H.

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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
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Limits of Narrative
Re: Limits of Narrative
Feu de Joie for Rory Muir
Why Write History?
How We Grow
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Right Angle
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Footnoting
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... Left Angle
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Only 'quite intelligent'?
Re: Only 'quite intelligent'?
Re: ... Left Angle
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Audiences
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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
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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
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Re: Bad History
Good Military History