A warning to historians

Posted by Tory Historian Friday, April 24, 2009 ,

Do not become so obsessed with ideology as to refuse to look at data. Admittedly, this tends to happen on the left, particularly with regards to a certain noxious political system that lasted longer than Fascism and Nazism and killed far more people as well as destroying societies on a grander scale.

Tory Historian has started reading "In Denial" by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, which is subtitled "Historians, Communism and Espionage". It is a tale of refusal by American historians (and how one wishes for a similar work in Britain but our libel laws make that impossible) to accept the truth, uncovered by Messrs Haynes and Klehr together with some colleagues about American Communists, open and secret, and their activities, all aimed at undermining their own country.

At the end of the Introduction they say:

Communism as a social fact is dead. But communism as a pleasant figment of the "progressive" worldview lives on, giving a phantom life to the illusions and historical distortions that sustained the murderous and oppressive ideology, The intellectual Cold War, alas, is not over. Academic revisionists who color the history of American communis in benign hues see their teaching and writing as the preparation of a new crop of radicals for the task of overthrowing American
capitalism and its democratic constitutional order in the name of social justice and peace. Continuing to fight the Cold War in history, they intend to reverse the victory of the West and convince the next generation that the wrong side won, and to preoare the way for a new struggle.
Can we honestly say that things are different here? It is a shameful role for historians to take on.


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