Wonderful because finding the material, and following where it led, was constantly exciting and because I was fascinated by the subject, which I had thought up for myself—much to the disapproval of my tutor, who was in English Lit, not History, and interested only in Walter Pater—or was it Walter Savage Landor?
One has to sit down on that chair and think and transform thought into readable, conservative, interesting sentences that both make sense and make the reader turn the page.
I come next to historians. What is Texas butsquare miles of Mexico settled by Americans and then forcibly declared independent? I recently came back from skiing at Aspen, where on one occasion I shared the double-chair ski-lift with an advertising man from Chicago.
Daily journalism, however, even when collected in book form, is, like letters and the rest, essentially source material rather than history. The primary duty of the historian is to stay within the evidence.Since last March educational television is being tried. It was the stacks at Widener. I did not write to instruct but to tell a story. That is the kind of detail which to me is worth a week of research. At a distance from the events he describes and with a wider area of vision, he can see more of what was going on at the time and distinguish what was significant from what was not. Some people can, William Shirer, for one; they are not affected by involvement. These have now had my original titles restored. It should never be ours. There you see the value of corroborative detail in revealing personality; this one is worth a whole book about the Kaiser—or even about Germany. It was hardly irrelevant to policymakers of the time who bore the responsibility for decisions of peace or war. In the end, of course, the best place to find corroborative detail is on the spot itself, if it can be visited, as Herodotus did in Asia Minor or Parkman on the Oregon Trail. One by one each of those chapters are marvelous and challenging reading.
The experience was terrible because I could not make the piece sound, or rather read, the way I wanted it to. This, I think, is one of the failings of much American writing.But his contempt for zeal was so zealous, so vigorous and learned, pouring out in a great organ fugue of erudition, that it amounted to enthusiasm in the end and held not only me, but all his listeners, rapt. It consoles us for the present and gives us hope of the future. Insistence on a purpose turns the historian into a prophet—and that is another profession. Enterprising spirit, membership of the library is most important for the we are our own worst enemy essay because it gives the best opportunity of becoming familiar with a large number and variety of books. One of the difficulties in writing history is the problem of how to keep up suspense in a narrative whose outcome is known. In fact she points out: Indeed, it was because genuine religious and moral feeling was still present that dismay at the corruption of the clergy and especially of the Holy See was so acute and yearning for reform so strong. I would like to suggest that the thought applied by the historian to his subject matter can be no less creative than the imagination applied by the novelist to his. The literati have submitted to the ruler the ruler barbara tuchman essays online turn submitted to their ritualist Constitutionally and this was the theory of the Confucians the he could rule only by using orthodox Confucian officials. Then, one day, when I was rereading it for the twentieth time, it suddenly spoke. I was a believer then, as I suppose people in their twenties must be or were, in my generation. I believed that the right and the rational would win in the end. For period flavor, however, newspapers are unsurpassed. It represents, however, a minor tragedy of The Guns, for I never succeeded in working it in at all.