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Popular Historians Still Can Be Great

Reader comment on item: Historians Run Amok

Submitted by Dave (United States), Apr 5, 2017 at 07:19

I really love a good history book. I gobble up contemporary authors like Hampton Sides, David McCullough and Nathaniel Philbrick. Whenever there's a favorable review by one of those or other authors in the Times I get the book on my Kindle. My all time favorite was David McCullough's history of the Wright brothers, although the one on the Brooklyn Bridge was amazing.
I don't pay much attention to what's going on in academia, or care. But the marketplace comes through when it comes to supporting some excellent pickings for us curious hoi polloi.

By the way, I recall that a friend of mine's Dad went to Harvard years ago, along with John F. Kennedy, and wrote some major project for his history major on teacup imagery in the Victorian era. I guess trivial history has only expanded since then. But that's what you get when the normal rules of supply and demand are absent in the often irrelevant halls of hackademia.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Excellent point. Popular history - which professional historians sniff at as commercial - takes up good topics and treats them in a compelling way. Long live the market!

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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