welcome to

The last remaining website for students offering 1000's of FREE Term Papers, Essays, Book Reports & Research Papers.

150,000+ Papers

Find more results for this search now!

Please enter a keyword or topic phrase to perform a search.
Need a Brand New Custom Essay Now?  click here

Why do historians differ in their interpretations of the past?

Uploaded by supermum on Aug 05, 2002

In the recent past, a story reached public attention because it concerned two historians who had examined evidence relating to the fate of the Jews during the 'Holocaust' Their research led each of them to reach quite different conclusions. Because the subject matter was emotive and highly sensitive, questions concerning the nature of historical authority and the ethical obligations of historians were asked. The resulting debate took place on a public platform and caused Mr justice Gray to make the following observation.

"Irving has, for his own ideological reasons, persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" (Guardian April 2000)

David Irving and Deborah Lipstadt had looked at the same event but did not agree on what they saw. This account will explore some of the reasons why scholarly investigative research produces such a polemic.

Perhaps the most interesting element in Justice Gray's indictment is the use of the word 'deliberately'. It could be argued that historians can be gulity of misrepresenting and manipulating evidence, but this might be through negligence or ignorance or just plain oversight. the word 'deliberately' suggests an altogether different agenda, and attempt to make the evidence say what you want it to say. In Irving's case, his conclusions have betrayed perhaps his right wing sympathies. Other historians have approached key historical events from differing ideological perspectives and consequently reached different conclusions. One could recount how Eamon Duffy, a Roman Catholic, gave a very positive view of pre-Reformation Catholicism in England in his huge work 'Stripping the Alters'. However, the humanist historian Scarrisbrook found that this same church was unpopular, corrupt and needed to change. It is discrepancies such as these that have caused philosophers to doubt whether the real truth about the past can actually be established

(Part II of this essay will follow shortly-unless you think its rubbish!!)

Sign In Now to Read Entire Essay

Not a Member?   Create Your FREE Account »

Comments / Reviews

read full paper >>

Already a Member?   Login Now >

This paper and THOUSANDS of
other papers are FREE at PlanetPapers.

Uploaded by:   supermum

Date:   08/05/2002

Category:   History

Length:   1 pages (300 words)

Views:   8356

Report this Paper Save Paper
Professionally written papers on this topic:

Why do historians differ in their interpretations of the past?

  • Estate Planning and Personal Finance

    In twenty two pages this consideration of personal finance emphasizes the importance of writing a will and estate planning with ta...

  • Controversy Regarding SFAS 95

    In five pages this accounting paper discusses the FASB's designation of cash flow reporting requirements. Five sources are cited ...

  • Mutual Fund Selection

    In a paper consisting of ten pages selecting a mutual fund and important considerations when choosing one that will represent the ...

  • Barings Bank's Collapse

    In six pages this paper discusses the collapse of the more than two centuries' old Barings Bank as a result of Nick Leeson's activ...

  • British Pub Owners and Tax Issues

    In nine pages this report discusses fictional British pub owners Jack and Jessica Snipes and considers the tax issues confronting ...

  • Egyptian CPA Companies and HRM

    In twenty pages this paper discusses various human resource management issues in an application of them to various Egyptian CPA or...

  • Accounting Issues

    In five pages this paper discusses ethical, fraud, and declining sensitivity issues as they relate to accounting. Four sources ar...

  • Overview of International Accounting Standards

    In twelve pages IAS are examined in terms of issues, controversies, and views from other countries regarding their practice. Seve...

  • Computer Technology and the Accounting Profession

    In this paper containing six pages different areas within the field of accounting are considered along with the contention that qu...

  • Independence and Auditing Fraud Issues

    In five pages this paper discusses independence and fraud issues as they pertain to auditing. Five sources are cited in the bibli...

View more professionally written papers on this topic »