5 responses to “The Problems of Writing Academic History

  1. Well written, logical, soundly-structured argument and in-line with traditional thinking; I think that Ross may have learned himself a couple of brownie points here, don’t you James?

  2. Pingback: The Problems of Writing Academic History « Thoughts on Military History·

  3. Mac I think you have raised, inadvertently, an important point, which links to the issue I raised about who we write for, and that is the issue of training. Academic historians are trained to write, and to some degree think, in a certain way. This raises the important issue of intellectual limitations for popular and public historians. In this, I do not mean it is a case of ‘We are smarter’ but that we view history and its study and practice in a very different way, which means the work we produce if very different. Note I say different and not better as I have certainly read enough academic history that is impenetrable to even some academics and this should not be the case.

    • First there is no ‘k’ in Mac; second it was not ‘inadvertent’ ; and third, remember the good old military maxim ‘train hard, fight easy’, it can apply.

      ‘Train hard, write easy’, as one might advise any academically-trained historian, or indeed all those so-trained from almost any other discipline, especially those who wish to and can modify their both their approach and content to reach a wider, less select audience or readership, albeit within those limitations well understood by the author, if not always the target.

      However no attempt here to baffle any reader here with complex narrative!

      Your final comment is spot on, of course; whilst my earlier posting in response to yours earlier still, was mostly an attempt at humour, my apologies if you missed it.

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