Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Them's fightin' words!

Looks like a "public history" blogger wants to stop reenactors... or farbs. I'm not sure how wide his paintbrush is with this post, but judging from his other writings, it's pretty broad. One part of me kinda sees his point, the other part of me says "what a snob - history is for everybody." Then I really thought about it. Although he doesn't come across well to me as a reenactor, it's interesting to read what a critic who maybe has a qualified opinion has to say about the hobby.

I do recommend any reenactor to read Public Historian's Haven and come back and post here with opinions and comments.

UPDATE: Found another blog, Living on the Field with a very relevant observation about reenacting battles and the history behind it, and whether or not reenacting is preserving the history or changing it. A much better critique of reenacting than the Public Historian's Haven.


Andrew Duppstadt said...

I'd like to introduce this pompous ass to my living history group. There are no fewer than five degreed historians, including myself in the unit, all of whom work in the field of public history. Aside from that, many of our other members serve on boards for various museums and historic site support groups. There are folks in our group who have forgotten more history than this schmuck will ever learn. He sounds to me like a bitter public historian who couldn't cut it in the world of ivory tower academic history. I appreciate his opinion, but people like him make me sick. I'd like for them to come to a program we are at, and watch how we truly "educate" the public.

Andrew @ Civil War Navy

mntineer said...

When I first pulled his blog up on a search and gave it read, I was steamed. I wrote a much lengthier post, but I decided to hold back a bit and let other people read and decide what they made of it. Like you, many in my group have either MS/PhDs, or have immersed themselves in serious history as to speak with authority.

He's entitled to his opinion, but we know as living historians it's superficial. But then again, I think it's an opinion that serious reenactors/living historians should consider, especially since it's out for the public to see.