Well-Written is Not the Same, Necessarily, as Popular

I saved James Snell’s article History is Literature awhile ago and finally got around to reading it. Given the limits on time that delayed this article for a month, I am terrified at the number of books I added to my reading list on Snell’s recommendation. But first, a challenge to teachers to teach students to write history well:

Writing history with skill and verve is not a distasteful exercise. Instead it can inspire young minds, advance new and provocative ways of thinking about the world, and assist in the production of that which may approach true literature. It can reignite old memories, revitalise and revolutionise form and genre – and, as the Nobel Committee has wisely chosen to acknowledge this year, it can do great good for society at large on a truly magnificent scale.

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