I have a challenge for those readers who think I am too down on the history profession.
Let's take a proposition (and this is just a proposition): "Many American historians cannot distinguish good history from good journalism; further, they cannot distinguish good historical judgement from good political commentary."
Have a look at this page. It's dynamic, it updates constantly, but I have no worries that the non-historical judgements on parade at this moment will dominate the list tomorrow or next year.
Please scan the linked articles with this in mind: "Many historians cannot distinguish good history from good journalism; further, they cannot distinguish good historical judgement from good political commentary." See if you agree with that based on the list you see.
Yesterday, I was mulling the disgraceful AHA preparing for another ridiculous convention while I nursed a hurt arm. After a week of pain, I had reached the point of considering medical attention when it dawned on me...
What if the ratio of bad historians to good is a universal constant for all professions? What if the number of historians practicing history without a lick of history sensibility corresponds to the number of physicians attempting to heal without a smidgen of natural aptitude for their chosen field?
Is there a field to which only natural talent is attracted? Sports? Auto repair?
What if professional historians' performances received the scrutiny professional athletes received? What if we history readers were as persnickety and demanding as sports fans? The AHA would last two minutes in a case like that.
It pains me to type this but maybe I am too hard on the hacks.