John Mcreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)
Wed, 30 Aug 1995 00:28:35 +0900

Rich Spears writes,

"If the record is created by the author why not let People author
their own?

"Should not a People's history and culture be in their own hands?"

To which I reply, there's that damned "P" again. No (capital-P) People has
ever written its own history and none ever shall, unless somewhere there
exists a People composed entirely of historians. The author is always some
particular someone, who may or may not be one of the People in question.
While it is surely a good thing for insiders to contribute their perspectives and equally surely a bad thing for a People's history to be written entirely by
outsiders, and worse still if the outsiders misuse power to suppress (or
simply ignore) what insiders' have to say, there is no guarantee that an
insider is more likely to get it right than a conscientous and sympathetic
outsider who may, on occasion, have negative things to say. (Objectivity is
not the absence of judgment, but the grace to refrain from making a judgment
while gathering as much data as practically possible and taking the time to
listen actively to the people one is working with.)

Objectively yours,

John McCreery