History for fairgoers

I'm still in the doghouse with Michigan readers.

Perhaps this will explain my outburst.

(1) There is experiential history. You held the sword. You stood on the ground.

(2) There is re-enactment in an attempt to create experiential history. "This must have been what it was like." Is it history if it delivers the right feeling?

(3) There is show-and-tell. "This is a period cannon." Is it history?

(4) There is chit-chat containing history content. "They came around Longstreet's left flank." Maybe that is history, though I think it one level removed.

(5) There is simulated re-enactment out of context: costumed characters wander the fairgrounds charming kids with an experience that is ahistorical. A plastic log cabin is available for play. Children duel with plastic swords wearing blue and gray kepis.

This is the stuff of fairgrounds and festivals. It's just play.

(6) There is history contemplated. The "doer" tries to comprehend the totality of a particular historical moment allowing for as much dimensionality as possible.

For deep readers, (6) is history, much of the rest is just "history-oriented."

Adding some panels and roundtable-type events does not significantly upgrade the history content, given the orientation on "current wisdom" and the state of our current ACW "wisdom."

Maybe I'm just being too restrictive and too grumpy.