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Daniel Geary

Analysis or Synthesis?

During his tenure leading the American Historical Association, William Cronon has been using his “From the President” column, which appears monthly in Perspectives on History, to explore the various ways in which people seek to understand the past. He’s been comparing and contrasting the habits of professional historians with other people who study the past, such as popular and amateur historians. Cronon’s overarching objective, it seems to me, is to convince professional historians to make their scholarship more accessible to a larger public, without losing the scrupulous disciplinary standards which we’ve been conditioned to since our first graduate seminar. This Read more