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Short Synopsis
Examining concepts like impartiality, neutrality, contextualization, and the use and abuse of the idea of the past as a foreign country, Bloxham's book investigates how far tacit moral judgments infuse works of history, and how strange those histories would look if the judgments were removed.

Full Synopsis
Against majority opinion within his profession, Donald Bloxham argues that it is legitimate, often unavoidable, and frequently important for historians to make value judgments about the past. History and Morality draws on a wide range of historical examples, and its author's insights as a practicing historian. Examining concepts like impartiality, neutrality, contextualization, and the use and abuse of the idea of the past as a foreign country, Bloxham's book investigates how far tacit moral judgments infuse works of history, and how strange those histories would look if the judgments were removed. The author argues that rather than trying to eradicate all judgmental elements from their work, historians need to think more consistently about how, and with what justification, they make the judgments that they do. The importance of all this lies not just in the responsibilities that historians bear towards the past—responsibilities to take historical actors on those actors' own terms and to portray the impact of those actors' deeds—but also in the role of history as a source of identity, pride, and shame in the present. The account of moral thought in History and Morality has ramifications far beyond the activities of vocational historians.

History and Morality

Author Donald Bloxham

Narrated by Roger Clark

Publication date Nov 17, 2020

Running time 17 hrs

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