Posts Tagged ‘media’

The Pubic Untellectual

Perhaps it was A.J.P. Taylor’s fault. Certainly, if he imagined a ‘public intellectual’, it was Taylor who came to mind – not because he’d ever actually experienced Taylor in that role, but an impressionable age he had read an obituary or tribute that stressed Taylor’s activities in taking academic history to a wider audience, and their consequences for his career. He had drawn from this two things, one more obviously erroneous than the other: firstly, that in any conflict between history as the exclusive preserve of an elite and history as something for everyone, the latter position was clearly noble and correct; secondly, that, having established one’s academic credentials, it was enough then to be willing to take these to a wider audience for the opportunities to do so to materialise. The possibilities that Taylor had energetically sought out such opportunities, and benefited from being enormously well connected and having the prestige of an Oxford position if never the Regius chair, or simply that times had changed and there was now no shortage of historians willing to take their work to a wider audience and pronounce on the issues of the day, genuinely had not occurred to him until much later. (more…)

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