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But in answer to your question about the conspiracy angle, I think that any historian worth his salt, and this is where I fault Stephen Ambrose and a lot of these guys who attack me - not all of life is a result of conspiracy by any means! Accident occurs alongside conspiracy.
You're not a historian, but most historians will tell you that they make very discrete judgment as to what facts to omit in order to make their book into some shape, some length that can be managed.
The search for the truth for truth's sake is the mark of the historian.
B. H. Liddell Hart
The first duty of an historian is to be on guard against his own sympathies.
James Anthony Froude
The novelist wants to know how things will turn out; the historian already knows how things turned out, but wants to know why they turned out the way they did.
Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet, historian, and civil rights activist who is hailed be many as one of the great voices of contemporary literature, believes a struggle only makes a person stronger.
Michael N. Castle
A good historian is timeless; although he is a patriot, he will never flatter his country in any respect.
What strikes the historian surveying anti-Semitism worldwide over more than two millennia is its fundamental irrationality. It seems to make no sense, any more than malaria or meningitis makes sense.
A historian is battling all the time to remember as much as possible.
The novelist's obligation to remake the sensuous texture of a vanished world is also the historian's. The strongest fiction writers often do deep research to make the thought and utterances of lost time credible.
I lay no claim, it should be clear, to being a historian. So in my books, the intimate and personal have been intertwined inextricably with the broad and historical.
Popularizing - much less venturing beyond one's secure turf - was frowned upon for many years. I think I probably internalized the prohibition, even though I was - and knew I was - among the best speakers and writers of my age cohort. I don't mean I was the best historian - a quite different measure.
I consider myself a writer who happens to write about history, rather than a historian. I was an English major in college. What I've learned about history is in the field, so to speak. Going into the archives and working with it directly.
Now, to describe the process of the Wrapped Reichstag, which went from 1971 to '95, there is an entire book about that, because each one of our projects has its own book. The book is not an art book, meaning it's not written by an art historian.
Because I'm an art historian, I have some experience of writing that comes out of close attention. That's what really art history is. You're looking at something very closely, and you try to write in a meticulous way about it.
While historians may go on attempting grand, sweeping and defining narratives, they work in a time when readers know that another narrative always lies in wait, and that the more intelligent an historian is, the more tentative and self-scrutinizing the tone.
As a financial historian, I was quite isolated in Oxford - British historians are supposed to write about kings - so the quality of intellectual life in my field is much higher at Harvard. The students work harder there.
I worked for a brief spell as a journalist, but soon I discovered that I didn't want to be a journalist - I wanted to be a historian.
I didn't realize the president was such an historian.
Ironically, the more intensive and far-reaching a historian's research, the greater the difficulty of citation. As the mountain of material grows, so does the possibility of error.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
But I'm a historian. I wasn't interested in just being a producer, I was interested in doing research and presenting that research to a general public.
Bernice Johnson Reagon
I conduct very few interviews with veterans. The contemporaneous, or near-contemporaneous, record for WWII is so spectacularly deep that latter-day recollections are largely unnecessary for a historian. Of course, in considering any account, I'm looking for additional sources that can confirm or enlarge that version of events.
It's interesting - an actor's research is different to just historian's research. I'm looking for things that I can actually physically use in the movie.
If you look at Gothic detailing right down to the bottom of a column or the capital of a column, it's a small version of the whole building; that's why, like dating the backbones of a dinosaur, a good historian can look at a detail of a Gothic building and tell you exactly what the rest of the building was, and infer the whole from the parts.
If you think about it, the historian's task is like that of the detective.
David Herbert Donald
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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