"Who Owns History?"

  • Led by an initial question about one thing, I came across the question with which I open this thread, which is, in fact, the title of Eric Foner’s book Who Owns History?: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World
  • My purpose here is not to answer the question but to point out that if one to soberly and calmly watch Dan Snow’s four part series Empire Of The Seas 2010 ‧ Documentary: How the Navy forged thr Modern World, you might eventually get around to thinking differently about who owns history in general, and American history in particular.
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I’m disappointed that he doesn’t cover the U.S. Navy – maybe he’ll do a sequel?

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before i can delve into finding the answer to the quesation “who owns history”, i must first deal with the dilemma of paying close to double the paperback edition price to read on Kindle? Add to that the fact the print in paperback is too small for me to read in any book, I feel im being singled out for my poor eyesight in my having to purchase Kindle versions of books. Perhaps there is some conspiracy here…maybe these guys are providing kickbacks to “Specsavers” who have recently expanded into North America/Canada i believe.

Adam, please see my message to you.

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  • Where did I get the title to this thread? Is revisionist history “fiction”? Yes, if you are a Texas conservative. John Fea | July 3, 2021
  • Who is Kevin David Roberts? Fighting Fire with Fire, Dr. Kevin Roberts
    • " The word revisionism carries a negative connotation in American society because it is usually associated with changing true facts of the past in order to fit some kind of agenda in the present. But actually, the historian who is called a “revisionist” receives a high compliment. In his book Who Owns History?, Pulitzer Prize-winning history professor Eric Foner recalls a conversation with a Newsweek reporter who asked him, “When did historians stop relating facts and start all this revising of interpretations of the past?” Foner responded, “Around the time of Thucydides.” (Thucydides is the Greek writer who is often credited with being one of the first historians in the West.) Those, like Roberts, who believe “revisionism” is a negative term often misunderstand the way it is used by historians. Revisionists are not in the business of changing the facts of history. Any good revisionist interpretation of history will be based on evidence–documents or other artifacts that people in the past left behind. This type of reconstruction of the past always takes place in community. We know whether a particular revision of the past is good because it is vetted by a community of historians. This is called peer review. When bad history does make it into print, we rely on the community of historians to call this to our attention through reviews."
  • A recent interest in the East India Trade Company of English sparked my interest in exploring
    “owns” its history. But I got lost before I reached a youtube about the Company and came across, instead, “Empire of the Sea” about the history of England’s Navy, which seems to have started with John Hawkins and his younger cousin, Francis Drake.
  • During the 3rd Episode, I believe, was a tidbit about John Hancock.
  • Think, as proponents off the Heritage Foundation would have you believe, that the U.S. was founded by godly men? Guess again.
    • " Before the American Revolution, Hancock was one of the wealthiest men in the Thirteen Colonies, having inherited a profitable mercantile business from his uncle. He began his political career in Boston as a protégé of Samuel Adams, an influential local politician, though the two men later became estranged. Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause as tensions increased between colonists and Great Britain in the 1760s. He became very popular in Massachusetts, especially after British officials seized his sloop Liberty in 1768 and charged him with smuggling. Those charges were eventually dropped; he has often been described as a smuggler in historical accounts, but the accuracy of this characterization has been questioned."
    • In other words, John Hancock was a very wealthy Tax Protester.

E-books are piratically overpriced, Kindle or otherwise.

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Did you read any. of the comments in the Fight Fire with Fire youtue video? Seems that quite a few individuals are pretty upset at its content.

Any to the topic at hand, what is interesting to me is that even US history has its inaccuracies. It also highlights that the claim that the Bible has errors because of similar “inaccuracies” is rather unfair given its not unique according to far more modern examples. What is notable, these inaccuracies don’t change the history though…

Contrary to popular mythology, there was no ceremonial signing of the Declaration on July 4, 1776.[158] After Congress approved the wording of the text on July 4, the fair copy was sent to be printed. As president, Hancock may have signed the document that was sent to the printer John Dunlap, but this is uncertain because that document is lost, perhaps destroyed in the printing process.[160] Dunlap produced the first published version of the Declaration, the widely distributed Dunlap broadside. Hancock, as President of Congress, was the only delegate whose name appeared on the broadside, although the name of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress but not a delegate, was also on it as “Attested by” implying that Hancock had signed the fair copy. This meant that until a second broadside was issued six months later with all of the signers listed, Hancock was the only delegate whose name was publicly attached to the treasonous document.[161] Hancock sent a copy of the Dunlap broadside to George Washington, instructing him to have it read to the troops “in the way you shall think most proper”.[162]

Hancock’s name was printed, not signed, on the Dunlap broadside; his iconic signature appears on a different document—a sheet of parchment that was carefully handwritten sometime after July 19 and signed on August 2 by Hancock and those delegates present.[163] Known as the engrossed copy, this is the famous document on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.


ABBA put it succinctly:
The winner takes it all. The loser’s standing small.

The winner owns history. Might made right and might wrote it gloriously.

You have mastered understatement.

Althought your examples are negligible in contrast to the real whoppers.

Precisely. And those revisions are sorely needed.


Sure. All societies have urban myths and legends. Some appear organically, while others are planned (e.g. George Washington chopping down a cherry tree). I actually find it interesting how these things get started which makes Snopes.com an interesting read on occasion. The entry for John Hancock can be found here:

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