A blog about the navies of the Civil War, living history, and much more; basically whatever historical topics cross my mind. And obviously some miscellaneous stuff too!
Very thought provoking posting. I agree with both the original post as well as your reply to it. I don't think the lack of service disqualifies you to instruct military history, any more than looking at the other edge of the sword which would say that only those who have "seen the elephant" are qualified to teach military history. I look at the teaching of history as being closer to being a reporter, more than anything else. A good reporter merely states the facts as he understands them. Without any interpretation or spin. He then allows his public to draw their own conclusions based on the information available.
If one can only study or teach what is immediate to himself or herself then one would be limited to a narrow set of strictures in which hone could write. As a white southern middle class male public sector worker anything outside that experience would be forbidden territory. How sad would be our lot if everyone were reduced to a history of one? Very sad.Now if such personal characteristics bound one in such a way that one could not study and understand - perhaps empathize - with anyone who was not in the same subset of life then that is one thing - if one has not the grey matter to over come my bindings. But to say that one can not understand an experience outside one's immediate environs is just wrong to my way of thinking.We could not even blog about it!
Spoken like a true PhD candidate Chris. Good comments, both of you (Mike and Chris).
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