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March 23rd 2009 print

Michael Connor

History without a home

When the Left history in the universities is disputed its perpetrators put up a unified front. The historians may loathe each other but they are capable of working together to fight off, or ignore, criticism.

Challenge Henry Reynolds and he goes on a publicity binge of lectures and personal appearances. His history writing is not good, and has been wildly overpraised, but he knows how to talk to the choir and engage their support.

The Left spend vast amounts of public moneys to stage conferences, fund the publication of books and provide the necessary leave and financial support for the writing of supportive polemics. They receive the support of the Left media and Left literary magazines, they “own” their own peer reviewed academic journals, they give each other prizes.

Reynolds has sneered and invented a right-wing school of historians but this is Left propaganda used to unite followers against the dissenters.

Dissident historians are isolated and vulnerable. No think tank offers them shelter. There is no journal which publishes them or encourages. Ideas are not lacking but support is.

Here are two essays. Neither has been published and for a while they were preserved on an internet site (like messages in a bottle) which no longer exists. The first, “Convincing Ground: a history”, is a study of a massacre which never happened. For suggesting the historians had made an error an ideologically blinded journalist called me an ideological warrior and a PC historian foamed at the mouth. In this case bad history has ruined modern lives and split a community and academic historians have done nothing to correct their errors.

The second is called “Nulliusgate: the war on a book”.