Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Re: Comparison of Belligerents' Foreign Policies

And this is the interpretive problem. We are dealing with several layers of bias. The "truth" (such as we can define it) is how they thought of themselves, in their own native dialect. The first bias is how their enemy saw them, in their language and possibly mis-quoting the local dialect. The historian, having their own bias, selectively uses these sources, in yet another language, in a book. Two later interpreters, with their own biases and divided by a common language start arguing who is "right". It is difficult enough to unpick at the best of times, but it is so dangerous to consider anyone in the chain to be unbiased or infallible.

Regardless of how much respect I have for ANY historian, I would never regard them as authoritative. They ALL have a bias, and I either agree or disagree using mine.

My son, as part of his BA(Hons) studied the Balkans conflicts in the 90's. Having read a book, by an authoritative historian (an 'Elting' in his field, if you will), so he told me I was mistaken on a point. I served at that headquarters, I was on the conference call where that decision was taken. The unwillingness to contradict a published historian, even when he had a primary source, was noteworthy,

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Comparison of Belligerents' Foreign Policies
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How dare you describe me as tall!
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The Big Corporal?
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Nationalism and Nationalists
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Shakspear.
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Abraham Lincoln.
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Mao Zedong .
Al Capone
Tertullian.
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Descartes.
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Re: Shakspeare.