Have you Ever Checked an Author's Source and Found it Wrong?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hood on Sword Writing About General Hood. Part 1.

Cicero. One of my favorites. Right up there with Pliny the Elder, Socrates, and a handful of others.

Click the image to the right, read it, and then click HERE and absorb Part 1 of 4.

Your comments are welcome and encouraged.



Tom Schott said...

Historians have violated all three, because they are impossible to follow. Let's start by defining "truth", for example.

Sam Hood said...

Interesting observation Tom. When people asked Shelby Foote why he didn't footnote he would supposedly reply, "Because the facts don't always equal the truth." He would elaborate that it might be a fact that Johnny Reb wrote to his mother the day after a battle that they had just whipped the Yanks, but it might not be the truth that Yanks got whipped.

In nonfiction literature I think "the truth" is:

1) The author disclosing that he/she is expressing an opinion that is indeed an opinion,

2) Ensuring, to the best of his/her ability, that primary source evidence is credible, and if possible corroborated, especially on substantive matters, and

3) Do not "cherry pick" historical records, revealing what he/she likes, and concealing credible evidence that runs counter to a theme or bias.

These three things would be a good place to start with defining "truth" in historiography and nonfiction literature.

Sam Hood