Scholarship and pseudo-scholarship

Some recent discussion about the distinction between ‘opinion’ and ‘analysis’ at Larvatus Prodeo. As a historian I see this debate differently, it is an echo of past debates about ‘objectivity’ in history (in the American case beautifully covered in Peter Novick’s That Noble Dream). I see a distinction between scholarship and pseudeo-scholarship. The former can […]

Labour history and cultural studies

A theme in my current research is the question of what capitalists do (some early thoughts are in my recent Labour History conference paper, although it gives almost no attention to the vast economic sociology tradition of which I knew little at the time of writing). Via Terry Flew some interesting comments on cultural studies […]

Social and political history

Sean Wilentz won few friends with his aggressive championing of Hillary Clinton last year but I like this description of the historical project: The radical historians who came out of the ‘60s had a very strong idea, and it was something that influenced my work as well—that history is not made by the presidents, it’s […]

American historians and corporate power

Read Gabriel Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism. This 1963 work was one of the first salvos in an ongoing debate about the relation between American liberalism and American capitalism. To Kolko the progressive reformers of the early 20th century were fundamentally misguided. They believed that the decline of competition and the rise of large-scale corporate […]