ISJ November 2016: Book review – Whose History? Essays in Perception
Reviewed by George Walker
‘And the rest, as they say, is history.’
I wonder how many times we have used that comforting mantra to bring our lives up to date. History: our shared understanding of the past. History: the enduring evidence that enables us to connect the past to our present.
Unfortunately it is not that simple, as the chapters of this book make very plain. Much of our understanding of historical events is not shared, it is contested by individuals, groups and nations who want to stamp their own interpretation on the evidence. And much of the evidence is not enduring; it changes as new discoveries are made and our ability to interrogate them becomes more sophisticated.