by Jack Le Moine
What is historiography? In the universities, the course in historiography is commonly the only required course for history majors.
In historiography classes, students learn the names of our glorious ancestors -— Herodotus, Sima Qian, Ibn Khaldun, Edward Gibbon, Leopold von Ranke, Marc Bloch, Natalie Davis -— and our current sages. At the same time, they learn about our clan’s version of “Game of Thrones,” the family feuds that divide post-colonialists from defenders of western civilization, linguistic turners from unswerving believers in the sanctity of facts, but that unite historians because we are the only ones who know the different players and what motivates them.
While this article smacks as a plug for a new book, I am bringing attention to it because the latest developments in the history field must include television mini-series, dramatic museum exhibitions, online blogs and forums.