Friday, August 31, 2007

What do historians think about the Canadian War Museum controversy?

In the winter term I will be teaching a course called "The Practicing Historian" that looks at a variety of issues related to research methodology, historiography, and the presentation of history to the public. The current controversy around the Canadian War Museum's decision to change its texts dealing with the Second World War bomber raids on Germany provides an excellent opportunity for my class explore some of these debates about how history is presented to the public - and indeed, how history is written.

But what do historians think of this particular controversy? Anyone who is interested in getting a sense of this debate beyond the statements of prominent historians in the media might be interested in checking out the messages posted on H-Canada, a Canadian history listserv that I co-edit. Alastair Sweeny has started the ball rolling, and there is an initial group of eight responses in what will likely be a vigorous debate. Opinions so far have been far from unanimous, which I tend to think supports the original text which stated that the impacts of these raids are, in fact, "bitterly contested" - even among the historical community.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Exchanging Drug-Enforcement Officers for Troops

I'm on vacation at the moment, although my lack of posting of late has mostly been a reflection of the lack of exciting happenings in Canadian politics. That being said, does it strike anyone else as interesting that Tony Clement has announced a Nancy Reagan-esque anti-drug campaign just before Stephen Harper told George W. Bush that Canada would not be extending the Afghanistan mission past 2009?

Sounds like a little tit for tat - we're reducing our contribution to America's "War on Terror" (TM), but we'll help out more with its "War on Drugs"(TM).

I'm going to go back to my vacation activity of constructing tin foil hats...

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