The Woke Mob’s Destruction of American History

Academic historians are losing their sense of the past. In his August column for the American Historical Association’s journal, Perspectives on History, James H. Sweet warned that academic history has become so « presentist » that it is losing touch with its subject, the world of the day before yesterday. Mr Sweet, who is the association’s president and teaches at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, observed that « the lure of political relevance » draws students away from pre-1800 history and closer to « contemporary issues of social justice » such as « race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capitalism. When historians become activists, he wrote, the past becomes « a bag of evidence to articulate their political positions. »

Mr. Sweet knows his audience, so he did his best to appease the crocodile of political correctness. He denounced justice Clarence Thomas for gun rights ruling that ‘chooses historical data’ and criticized justice Samuel Alito for having repeated the word « history » in vain 67 times in his Dobbs abortion advice. But Mr. Sweet also pointed out that Nikole Hannah JonesThe « 1619 Project » is not an accurate story, and this « bad story », good as it is, produces bad politics. “If history is just those stories from the past that confirm current political positions, all sorts of political hacks can claim historical expertise.”


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