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Chris Matthews

On Describing Today’s Historical Ecosphere

We historians conventionally distinguish scholarly historical writing from popular historical writing.  The former is what those of us who write for this blog do professionally; the latter is what tends to appear on bestseller lists.  The very existence of popular historical writing distinguishes our field from many others in the humanities. These days, at least, there’s precious little popular literary criticism for example (though popular cultural criticism certainly exists). And though bookstores are brimming with popular philosophy books, they bear virtually no resemblance to the work of academic philosophers.  In contrast, not only are there innumerable works of popular history, Read more