The Use & Abuse of History
Program #ZINH011. Recorded in Denver, CO on November 13, 1993.
Thomas Carlyle, the 19th century English essayist, described history as a "distillation of rumor." How is the past constructed? Who does the constructing? What is included, occluded and omitted? What values and attitudes are promoted? Is history, as some would contend, a collection of neutral observations amassed by disinterested scholars? History is in fact a commodity, yet another item on the ideological shelf. It is marketed and packaged like any other product. It is wrapped in the pretense of objectivity. Its content is framed, shaped and informed by the historian's own race, class and gender.
Your cart is currently empty