Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war.
Historians who write about families are usually feminists who think in terms of gender relations.
Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.
We historians are increasingly using experimental psychology to understand the way we act. It is becoming very clear that our ability to evaluate risk is hedged by all sorts of cognitive biases. It’s a miracle that we get anything right.
History had its own way of explaining things. The way historians explain things is by telling a story.
Historians will look back and say, ‘Foreign policy in the Ford presidency was very much dominated by Kissinger, with a kind of continuity from the Nixon period.’ Ford is not going to be remembered as a really significant foreign policy maker.
God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
Historians evaluating George W. Bush’s first term will focus on foreign policy and, most of all, 9/11. I think they will criticize him for his early reaction, for not returning at once to Washington, D.C.
Historians turning their hands to fiction are all the rage. Since Alison Weir led the way in 2006, an ever-growing number of established non-fiction writers – Giles Milton, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Harry Sidebottom, Patrick Bishop, Ian Mortimer and myself included – have written historical novels.
The main reason why historians have skated over the relationship of Victorian PMs with the press is that they haven’t been looking for it. It takes a lecturer in media studies such as Paul Brighton to point out that media management was part of the job of a Victorian prime minister.