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popular history



  • The Popular Medieval History Hated by Medievalists

    by Daniel Lavery

    "It’s the most prominent example of a type of book that fascinates me: The amateur/popular history of an entire field that’s largely beloved (or at least successful) outside of said field and widely loathed within it."



  • What "Big History" Misses

    by Ian Hesketh

    "Big History" has become established in the popular media and in some academic quarters, telling global-scale narratives of human and even planetary history. After 30 years, it's time to evaluate its successes and failures. 



  • On Popular History: Rebecca Traister

    by Alexis Coe

    Historian Alexis Coe interviews writer and essayist Rebecca Traister on the historical research informing her work and the links between popular and academic audiences for historical knowledge. 



  • Can America’s Problems Be Fixed By a President Who Loves Jon Meacham?

    The popular historian and biographer Jon Meacham has been a major influence on Joe Biden's political outlook, and potentially on his policy agenda. Does a view of history informed by conflicts of virtue and values offer a path to fixing corrupted or hollowed-out institutions? Are academic historians jealous? 



  • How We Lie to Ourselves About History

    At its best, the "You're Wrong About" podcast transcends fact-checking and debunking to ask why so many of the stories we know are wrong, and why they persist nevertheless. 



  • Keith Harris: Can Social Media Bridge the Gulf Between Academic Historians and the Public?

    Keith Harris blogs at Cosmic America and holds a PhD in history from the University of Virginia.Greetings Cosmic Americans!Of course, I believe that the answer is yes. This summer, I will take part in a panel at the Civil War Institute’s annual conference at Gettysburg College with fellow Civil War bloggers Kevin Levin, Brooks Simpson, and Mark Grimsley. The so-called “gulf” is one of the principal issues that I will be addressing.Years ago, before the Internet opened the doors for real-time access to just about anyone anywhere in the world, the television historical documentary probably stood alone as the medium most likely to serve as the middle ground on which academic historians and an informed public might relate.