John Simkin Posted May 29, 2006 Share Posted May 29, 2006 Professor Colin Kidd teaches at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Subverting Scotland's Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity 1689-c.1830 (1993) and British Identities before Nationalism: Ethnicity and Nationhood in the Atlantic World, 1600-1800 (1999). (1) Could you explain the reasons why you decided to become a historian? (2) Is there any real difference between the role of an investigative journalist and a historian? (3) How do you decide about what to write about? (4) The House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that the “committee believes, on the basis of the available evidence, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. However, very few historians have been willing to explore this area of American history. Lawrence E. Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report suggests that senior politicians were involved in and covered-up serious crimes. Yet very few historians have written about this case in any detail? Why do you think that historians and journalists appear to be so unwilling to investigate political conspiracies? (5) David Kaiser, the author of Politics and War: European Conflict from Philip II to Hitler (1990) and American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War (2000) said this in his interview: "The basic rule is that before-the-fact (in this case, pre-November 1963) documents are more important than after-the-fact ones. There's a hierarchy of evidence. People who come forward years later with stories are suspect, and if they said something different at the time, one has to discount them heavily. Meanwhile, one has to read as many documents as possible to understand the context of a particular event." Do you agree? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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