U.S. Intellectual History Blog

A Quote for Tuesday

“Subtle links join subjective to objective elements in the practice of the historian’s craft. While the world of the elapsed past has its own reality, independent of who attempts to view and describe it, the scholar’s vision is subjective, at least to the extent that his own point of observation and the complex lenses of prejudice, interest, and preconception shape what he discerns and therefore what he can portray.”

Oscar Handlin, Truth in History (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1979), 1.

One Thought on this Post

  1. “While the world of the elapsed past has its own reality, independent of who attempts to view and describe it . . .”

    Somewhere a presentist’s ears are burning, and somewhere else, a postmodernist’s.

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