His motives seem similar to mine. He says, "[For ACW historians] It’s safe to avoid asking tough questions." Safe, lazy, dumb, and sometimes enriching, I would add.
Harman points listeners to new books and articles that challenge the current wisdom. He has some "buyer beware" advice for tour trippers, too.
"We [tour guides] try to make the interpretation fit where the monument is," he said, adding many presenters and listeners do not ask why it is where it is.Needless to say, a number of monuments are not at the site of the action, which results in some imaginative fiction being dispensed as fact.
I like this very much:
Harman’s presentation seemed well received by the audience, including Civil War Institute participants."He makes us critical thinkers," said Hal Ardell, of Chicago. "He’s saying, don’t accept the status quo without thinking about it."I do wonder how long a federal historian will be allowed to embarass published professors, prizewinners, and other park staff...