Anyway, let me take the opportunity that a new post provides to suggest some writings from rhetoritician Andrew Cline. (These tie in more closely with Elektradig's issues than with Kevin's, however).
Cline has long been concerned with the narrative strategies of journalists, but his points apply just as well to nonfiction writers in general.
For instance, I think that this passage speaks to the difference between (h)istorian and the (H)istorian:
The story journalism tells is always the story of the context (the rhetorical situation) of journalism. As long as it constructs, structures, and mediates the stories of others, those others will always feel their contexts have been lost or ignored.Those with historic sensibility (generally not pop historians) feel deeply for those others. Let me make this easier with a rephrasing:
The story that narrative history tells is always the story of the context (the rhetorical situation) of narrative history.Thus, plot line; protagonist; character development arc; struggle; these imperatives structure the information conveyed transforming it out of the realm of history into the realm of literature. We are not reading the story of events per se but the story of narrative structure and linear, chronological presentation.
Note too that there are only a limited number of story structures that work for pop history, further distorting the mirror of events. We'll look at those soon.