Indiana History Center; lunchtime book discussion series; July 18
Historian and political scientist Kyle Ward explores the relationship between shifts of interpretation in history textbooks in the wake of changing cultural and political, economic and cultural attitudes. While some stories remain constant regarding factual content, some have wide shifts. A case in point is who exactly did deliver the warning surrounding the Battle of Lexington. In 1794, the factual account named a Dr. George Warren. However, in 1863, Longfellow penned “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” Try convincing someone Revere is a fictional account. Ditto for who fired the first shot at Concord. We all believe Emerson’s account in his poem “The Shot Heard ’Round the World.” “History is written in the present,” Ward contends. “Is there such a thing as ‘historical objectivity’ or truth?” Ward’s 2006 book, History in the Making: An Absorbing Look at How American History Has Changed in the Telling Over the Last 200 Years, will be published in a paper edition this fall by The New Press. Log on to www.thenewpress.com or visit the Historical Society History Market.