Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

« Jumping Around | Main | A Prized Local Specimen »




A very interesting post. I might write a piece about the article soon, but I do have several comments to share. As an academically trained historian, I do understand Hoffer's concern about historians who hide behind jargon and footnoes (although I disagree with his conclusions about the problems this creates). You are right that most of the professional history books that get covered in the mainstream press employ a muted "rousing narrative" -- but these are a tiny percentage of the professional history books that get produced each year. Most academic historians (unfortunately) write only for trained specialists, in the way that academic physicists write for each other, or medical researchers do. More important, most professional historians have also largely abandoned narrative because of its limitations, especially in monographs and scholarly journals (textbooks, however, still sometimes employ narrative). Now, if "popular" histories would follow the same path, they might have more to offer than they typically do.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

The Art of Disturbance--Available as Pdf and Kindle Ebook
Literary Pragmatism--Available as a Pdf