The History Wars Continue:
A Hypothetical Trial
History must strive to be an art before it can pretend to be a science
J. H. Plumb (1969)
What follows is a hypothetical case in which Simon Schama is on trial in relation to a charge brought forward by Mr. Keith Windschuttle. The serious criminal charge, as outlined in Mr. Windschuttle's provocative polemic The Killing of History is that Schama has attempted to murder History (Windschuttle 1994). Mr. Windschuttle believes that Schama has wilfully and maliciously used narrative, relativism and a dangerously reckless epistemology in an attempt to brutally murder the discipline. Mr. Windschuttle believes that the motive for this horrendous crime is little more than careerism. The prosecution for the case is the highly esteemed Eric Hobsbawn Q.C. The Defense Counsel for Schama is the somewhat unknown, Mr. Craig Bellamy. He was chosen as Defense council in this case, not because of his relatively untested knowledge of criminal procedure, but because, along with Schama, his curiosity has often caused him to push the boundaries of what is considered normal disciplinary rules. As the debate centres on the use of fiction in History it seems appropriate to experiment with the genre here. Judge Macintyre will trial the case.
Judge: Could you please read out the charge and proceed with the prosecution's case Mr. Hobsbawn?
Prosecution: Certainly Your Honour. The prosecution will attempt to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt to members of the Jury, that the accused, Simon Schama, has attempted to, whilst in right mind, murder History. The prosecution's case will rest upon the charges brought forward and evidence given in Mr. Windschuttle's edifying investigation titled: The Killing of History: How a Discipline is Being Murdered by Literary Critics and Social Theorists. The prosecution hopes to establish that Professor Schama, by fictitiously creating passages in his book Dead Certainties and by failing to draw the distinction between History and fiction, has delivered an almost lethal blow to History. Simon Schama will be revealed as a criminal of the lowest type (Schama 1991).
Judge: How does your client plead to these charges Mr. Bellamy?
Defense: He pleads not guilty Your Honour.
Judge: The case will proceed. You may call your first witness Mr. Hobsbawn.
Prosecution: The prosecution wishes to cross examine the accused himself Your Honour; we call Simon Schama to the stand.
(Schama takes the stand)
Judge: May I remind you that you are in a court of law Professor Schama and that the evidence you give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Do you understand Professor Schama?
Schama: Yes Your Honour.
Prosecution: Could you please inform members of the jury of your position in the History profession Professor Schama?
Schama: Certainly. I am a Professor of History at Columbia University.
Prosecution: Do you consider this an important position?
Schama: Yes. It is considered in the discipline of History to be one of the most prestigious History posts anywhere.
Prosecution: Considering the importance of your position Professor Schama, do you understand the gravity of the charges that you are accused?
Schama: Yes I do.
Prosecution: Then please tell us Professor Schama why you consider it appropriate to fabricate passages as you did in your book Dead Certainties if this is considered a crime in the discipline in which you have been so greatly rewarded?
Schama: I did not exactly fabricate the passages.
Prosecution: You did not? Then what would you consider the six page monologue by an imaginary soldier in ‘The Many Deaths of General Wolf' in your book? (Schama:1991:pp.3-8).
Schama: What he describes actually did occur.
Prosecution: Yes, this may be true but you invented the soldier Professor Schama, even though he may recount nothing that is untrue. It lacks verisimilitude: no ordinary soldier in the ranks could have heard about or experienced all that you have him describe in the Battle of Quebec.
Schama: The participants may have a privileged access to knowledge that you may not.
Prosecution: This is not true Professor Schama; in fact, the opposite is true: It is the Historian removed from the events who is in a better position to put together the confused, disparate, and sometimes contradictory accounts into a plausible whole. This is the purpose of analysis. Why have you deliberately turned away from analytical History?
Schama: ‘To write History without the play of imagination is to dig an intellectual graveyard…I have tried to bring a world to life rather than entomb it in erudite discourse' (Schama:1991:p.323).
Prosecution: That sounds like a very noble gesture Professor Schama, but is it History?
Schama: Yes, it is History: it is storytelling.
Prosecution: Story telling Professor? Do you think that you are writing historical fiction like Sir Walter Scott or Kenneth Roberts?
Schama: No. I use novelistic techniques but novelistic techniques with the authenticity and credibility of History.
Prosecution: That is where you are wrong Professor; surely you cannot have it both ways? The problem with mingling fiction and fact in History writing is similar to that of mixing simulation with authentic documentary material in television news. The readers or viewers are never sure which is which and therefore come to doubt the truthfulness of the whole (Windschuttle: p.229). One reads Dead Certainty with credulity until suddenly something in the narrative provokes the question of whether or not there is documentary evidence for it. Maybe you have a diary, a letter or some other archival evidence, but there are no references, no conventional proof, and the purely invented parts taint the credibility of the whole. Why did you not use footnotes or at least end notes in your work Professor Schama? And where is the Bibliography?
Schama: The problem in this respect is with the publisher. They would not let me use footnotes or endnotes as the major concern of the publisher was whether the book was going to sell or not. The publishers do not care about debates between Historians or the conventions of our craft; they just want to sell books (Windschuttle: p.247).
Prosecution: Are you trying to tell me that it is not your fault Professor Schama? You cannot blame the publishers for your work lacking credibility. Shifting the blame for your dangerous narrative experiments will not lessen the charge. You are accused of attempting to kill History. Your book could have had a lot of immediacy without narrative invention and with the use of footnotes. Your loss of credibility far outweighs any aesthetic gains you may have achieved. You are violating the conventions of History writing and because of your power within the craft you are putting the integrity of the discipline at risk. History is fragile and is vulnerable to attack. Why do you attempt to murder it?
Schama: It is not a matter of attack but a simple matter of epistemology. I do not like the idea of Historians pretending to know the truth about a subject trough an approach that is often flawed. 'We are unavoidable remote from our subjects and we are doomed to be forever hailing someone who has gone around the corner and out of earshot' (Schama:1991:p.13). Most Historians are not ready to admit that they basically make up the past as a fiction writer does or admit the impossibility of representing a past reality.
Prosecution: I can see no reason why documentary proof should not continue to guide and control the writing of History. This convention has been painstakingly developed in the Western world and has a respectable justification for its existence. It ought not to be abandoned without a fight just because of your playful experiments in narration. Why do you scorn the boundary between fact and fiction Professor?
Schama: I do not exactly consider that there is no difference and there are of course events that Historians can objectively prove as true. There is no doubt in my mind that certain events did happen, but they can not always be clearly determined as true even with the archival resources that we have available. Historians can never truly enter into a past world and they are left forever chasing shadows (Wood:1991:p.15). I am painfully aware of my inability to reconstruct a dead world in its completeness, however thorough or revealing my documentation.
Prosecution: If Historians cannot recover the truth about the past with finality and completeness, as you assert Professor, must they resort to writing fiction in order to fill in the so called shadows?
Schama: My works follow the documentary record with some closeness; they are works of imagination not scholarship.
Prosecution: What are you saying Professor Schama? These are not necessarily contraries. Historical scholarship should not be set in opposition to imagination. History writing is creative and it surely requires imagination; only it is imagination of a particular sort, sensitive to the differences of the past and constricted by the documentary record (Wood:p.16). Why do you think that you have more freedoms than other members of your profession Professor Schama?
Schama: I do not allow myself any more freedom than other History practitioners; if anything I am probably more honest. ‘…selecting, pruning, editing, commenting, interpreting, and delivering judgment is full play. Claims for historical knowledge must always be fatally circumscribed by the character and prejudices of its narrator' (Schama:1991:p.13).
Prosecution: That is a banal assertion Professor Schama. One can accept the view that the historical record is fragmentary and incomplete and still not resort to fiction. The recovery of the past is partial and difficult and of course Historians will never finally agree in their interpretations. Historians may never see and represent that truth wholly and finally but some of them will come closer to others, be more nearly complete, more honest and more objective in their written History. Do you not believe Professor, that there is such a thing as an objective truth about the past that can he observed and empirically verified?
Schama: Only to a degree, and as I have already stated, I do believe that certain events exist. However…'It is time, perhaps, to poke our heads above our several molehills and to take a view, however nervous and blinking, of the broader historical landscape' (Schama:1991:p.13). It is impossible to dismiss your own personal circumstances within your present day society and it is dishonest pretending that you can do so.
Prosecution: If you do not believe in historical objectivity Professor Schama what then do you believe in? God perhaps? Perhaps you think that you are God and this is why you think that you know the contingent thoughts and actions of the particular characters in your stories. You use interior monologues and shifts from one mind and point of view to another. How can you allege that you know what people are thinking Professor Schama? Are you God?
Schama: I was speculating.
Prosecution: Speculating Professor Schama, how novel. What gives you the right to use novelistic trickery when you know it could kill History?
Schama: I have not tried to kill History; if anything I have tried to enrich it. I am not concerned with impersonal historical forces but with the thoughts and actions of particular individuals. History is ultimately about people and I have used historical documentation to make assumption as to what were important historical figures motivational actions and thoughts. They were neither completely untruthful nor unwarranted speculations.
Prosecution: Your banality never ceases to amaze me Professor Schama. Do you not think that most Historians know that their craft is about ‘people?'
Schama: Most Historians determine the actions of their historical individuals by the influenced of class, race, gender, nationalism or other such ‘objective' and so called ‘observable truths'. The majority of historical studies on say, the French Revolution, claim that the motivational actions of the participants were predetermined by the impersonal force created between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy. What could be more speculative than Dialectic Materialism? The Revolution was about people. It was about revolutionary speeches, it was about blood and it was about passion (Schama:1989:p.17). No one in France thought a revolution was a good idea because Dialectic Materialism came down from the sky to inform them. Now there is your God! The Historian reaches into the past with a cause and then seeks to find evidence to support this cause. The Historian is playing God when he pretends that he is purely objective. Of course it can be proven that Dialectic Materialism caused the French Revolution if you really try. I am doing nothing different by speculating that the actions of individuals involved in an event are a little more personal.
Prosecution: You wrote a book about the French Revolution around this so called idea of ‘people' didn't you Professor Schama?
Schama: Yes, I did.
Prosecution: And is it also true that many angry scholars have turned their back on you and even the French did not translate your book?
Schama: Yes, that is true.
Prosecution: And why would you say this is true Professor Schama?
Schama: ‘It is because academics place restrictions on the imagination'. University ‘disciplines demand professionalism, which means that they expect their adherents to behave in a predictable manner' (Zeldin:1991:p.16).
Prosecution: You have not answered my question Professor Schama. What makes you right and the majority of your colleagues wrong?
Schama: It is not a matter of me being right and my colleagues being wrong. It is a matter of the dominant epistemology in the profession today. ‘In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, the free companionship between literature and History was deemed by newly founded university departments to be fundamentally unserious. The storytellers were shoved aside by scientists intent on reconstructing from fragments and clues what they insisted would be an empirical, verifiable, objectively grounded version of an event; its causes and consequences precisely delineated. Storytellers not only lost ground, they became aggressively despised' (Schama:1991:13).
Prosecution: What do you mean by ‘empirical' Professor Schama? You already indicated to us your contempt for objectivity, are you now saying that you do not believe in empiricism either?
Defense: Objection Your Honour. The prosecution is leading the defendant.
Judge: Objection over ruled. You may proceed Mr.Hobsbawn.
Prosecution: Professor Schama. What is your problem with an empirical approach to History? If you take this away, surely the discipline will die?
Schama: No, I do not believe that it will die. Perhaps it will fragment yes, but not die. There is indication of this fragmentation in Australia already. Too many Historians in the past have ignored the subjective and the interpretative. The advice given by the previous generation of Professors produced an atmosphere that bordered on the lifeless. This generation thought that the road to the truth is the hard and stony way of cumulative empiricism. The Holy Grail at the trail's end was a chill and limpid objectivity. The Historian wore a mask of dispassion (Schama:1991:13).
Prosecution: So would I be correct in assuming that it is only the modern approach to History that you have your quandary?
Schama: Yes that is correct? It is dull, fact grabbing and pedantic and it dominates academic History writing today. In the secondary education system you will find students stupefied over History textbooks the size of telephone directories and about as thrilling to read (Schama:1991:13). Entirely missing from these productions are the great narratives of History, written by a single hand or at most a pair, capable of stirring the imagination, feeding the immense hunger for historical drama latent in nearly every young mind (Schama:1991:13).
Prosecution: This all may be true Professor, but is still does not excuse you for your creation of fictional passages. This is a lethal blow to History and it is why you have been accused of murder.
Schama: It is not History that I am trying to murder but a particular pedestrian epistemological approach based on empiricism. Those Historians, like Keith Windschuttle, who continue with this outmoded approach to History and remain ignorant of revitalised approaches, will themselves be the murderers. The discipline will die with them.
Prosecution: One last question Professor Schama; I have been informed that in a later edition of your book Dead Certainties, that your publishers were concerned enough to describe your book as not History proper, but ‘imaginative reconstructions' and ‘a History of stories'. Is this true? (Windschuttle:p:228).
Schama: Yes, this is true. My book does not fit nicely within a modern definition of History.
Prosecution: Thank you Professor Schama. The prosecution will now consider your case.
Judge: Does the Defense have any questions for the defendant Mr. Bellamy?
Defense: Yes Your Honour.
Judge: Then please proceed Mr. Bellamy.
Defense: I will be brief Your Honour. I only have one question for my client. Professor Schama, please be succinct, but what would you consider is the major advantage of your particular style of History writing?
Schama: Well basically, I think that an evocative style in History writing is more artful in that evokes emotional responses and is thus closer to what it is to be human. Through evocative language, plot and character, an event or situation can be critically enacted in a far more skilful fashion than with the single use of analysis. The reader can become more engaged with the event the Historian is trying to evoke, as character place and time are potent signifiers of the everyday (Potts:1991:p.17). Analytical History denies many of the complexities of the human situation. Narrative History allow controlling perceptions, but without the artificial exactness of science. (Potts:p.17).
Defense: Yes, Yes, Professor Schama. I think that the members of the Jury have understood your point.
Judge: Is that all Mr. Bellamy?
Defense: Yes Your Honour.
Judge: You may step down Professor Schama. The court will now recess for lunch. Please be back in the court room by 2.00 PM.
(The room slowly emptied as members of the jury and the public gallery shuffled out their respective doors).
Judge: Order in the Court please. Mr. Bellamy could you please inform us on how the Defense wishes to proceed.
Defense: Certainly Your Honour. My client understands the gravity of the charges that he is accused. He is accused of the attempted murder of History through narrative invention and by failing to draw the distinction between fiction and History. The Defense will prove that these charge bought before the court are false. The Defense will establish that Professor Schama has not made any attempt on the life of History nor that History is in any particular danger from his innovations.
Judge: Is that all Mr. Bellamy?
Defense: Yes Your Honour.
Judge: You may proceed with your first witness Mr. Bellamy.
Defense: Certainly Your Honour. The Defense wishes to call the plaintiff to the stand; Mr. Windschuttle.
Judge: Mr. Windschuttle, please take the stand. For the record please state your name.
Windschuttle: My name is Keith Windschuttle.
Judge: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Windschuttle: Always Your Honour.
Judge: Please continue Mr. Bellamy.
Defense: Mr. Windschuttle, do you realise the seriousness of the accusations that you have made against Professor Schama?
Windschuttle: Yes, I do.
Defense: You are calling Professor Schama a murderer and your proof seems less than convincing.
Windschuttle: When History dies you will be convinced!
Defense: When History dies Mr. Windschuttle? This seems to be the inevitable outcome to your thesis. Come on Mr Windschuttle, how can History die?
Windschuttle: It is dying because these interlopers claim that the central point on which History was founded no longer holds. They say that there is no fundamental distinction between History and myth or between History and fiction (Windschuttle:p.2).
Defense: And when was History founded Mr. Windschuttle?
Windschuttle: More than two thousand four hundred years ago (Windschuttle.p.1).
Defense: So Mr. Windschuttle, this is exactly the dubious tact in your book. You connect two disparate facts together that may be in fact truthful, but then you attempt to argue that they are dispassionate connections when you are merely connecting them to support your lurid accusation of murder.
Windschuttle: You did this not me.
Defense: I am saying Mr. Windschuttle that the practices that you claim Professor Schama are murdering are not two thousand four hundred years old at all. You are a defender of empiricism are you not?
Windschuttle: Yes, what has this go to do with anything?
Defense: Well, Mr. Windschuttle, the conventions of History that you defend are scarcely more than a century old (Wood:p.15). They are not two thousand four hundred years old at all, nor will the loss of them necessarily kill the discipline. The certainty of an ultimately observable and unwavering verifiable truth is dead. It is not History that is dying.
Windschuttle: Yes, it is!
Defense: You may believe that it is dying Mr. Windschuttle, but perhaps this is because you cannot see beyond the epistemological approach in which you have invested so much time and energy. ‘More professional Historians-those that earn their bread by doing nothing else-are at work today than at any time since Herodotus began his chronicle. Postgraduate programs in mighty universities produce legions of PhDs, who go on to produce yet more PhDs, who populate the countless conferences and multiplying institutes' (Schama:1991:p.13). The once spacious chambers of the historical house have become subdivided into even smaller closets of specialisation: more and more is known about less and less. It is not a matter of the death of the discipline Mr. Windschuttle it is a matter of fragmentation. When once your generation thought you could be all-seeing and all-knowing within the crude limits of empiricism, now you have to deal with more and more specialists.
Windschuttle: But History is under attack!
Defense: Do not be so paranoid Mr. Windschuttle. The tension between popular Historians like Professor Schama and Historians such as yourself is in itself History. Many of the most enduring Historians-Voltaire, Gibbon, Macaulay, Carlyle and Trevelyn-wrote not just outside the academy, but in self conscious defiance of it. For all these writers, History was not a remote and funereal place; it was a world that spoke loudly and urgently to our own concerns (Schama:1991:p.13). What Professor Schama is doing; ultimately telling stories, is the oldest form of History. It precedes by centuries the modern approach in which you are a vehement defender. The revival of it will do History no harm.
Windschuttle: Any one in the profession will tell you that History is threatened with extinction.
Defense: This is just one of the many statements in your book that reveals your constricted approach Mr. Windschuttle. History is part of the humanist tradition and part of a broad range of disciplinary approaches developed in the enlightenment. I will concede that there is evidence that History in our schools is under a threat of kinds, but it is not just History. Numerous disciplines are always under threat. Paul Ormerod wrote a book at a similar time to yours called The Death of Economics that deals with problems within his discipline (Ormerod:1994). It is part of the intellectual climate of our times Mr. Windschuttle. Epistemological scepticism and Nietzschean denials of the absolute possibility of objectivity have swept through every humanistic discipline. Why do you have so much difficulty with current academic advances Mr. Windschuttle?
Windschuttle: Because they are just fashions
Defense: Would you say that Professor Schama is a victim of fashion Mr Windschuttle?
Windschuttle: Yes I would.
Defense: Using an evocative style to convey historical ideas is hardly a fashion Mr. Windschuttle. As I have already stated, narrative is the oldest form of historical writing. If anything Professor Schama is using a mode that is out of fashion.
Windschuttle: But he is only doing it to sell books as I insinuated in my final chapter of The Killing of History.
Defense: Selling books to a broad audience is hardly a crime Mr. Windschuttle. I could argue that you yourself have manipulated a market through sensationalism and by taking broad swipes at nearly every leading academics in the world today.
Windschuttle: They were not broad swipes; I thoroughly engage with the works of all the academics that I criticise.
Defense: I will admit that you have well researched many of the academics you criticise, but really Mr. Windschuttle, how can you place such a disparate group of academics in the one book under the one accusation of 'murderers'? About the only thing these academics have in common is that they have been leaders in their field. How can you place Michel Foucault, Greg Dening and Professor Schama within the same thesis?
Windschuttle: These academics feel free to call their work History and define themselves as Historians. Their developments are absurd! (Windschuttle:‘Dust cover').
Defense: My client Mr. Windschuttle, Simon Schama, was brought up in a working class Jewish family in England. Before he was thirty Mr. Windschuttle, my client had mastered the Dutch language and the Dutch archives, an inspiring achievement. His first book Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands, 1780?1830 was published in 1977. Most reviewers believe there is nothing to rival this work of the period, which was a fairly recondite subject for an English speaking Historian (Schama: 1977). Professor Schama is no small time renegade in the Historical profession as you make his out to be in your book Mr. Windschuttle.
Windschuttle: No one is beyond reproach, no matter what their position.
Defense: That is most certainly true Mr. Windschuttle, but what are you really trying to have us believe? Peter McPhee, Glen Dening, Inga Glendenning, Jacques Derrida, Susan Sontag, Hayden White, Edward Said, Roland Barthes, Clifford Geertz, Paul Carter, Stephen Greenblatt and Francis Fukuyama have all strayed so far from what you see as the true way to ‘do' History?
Windschuttle: Yes, that is correct.
Defense: Perhaps a little arrogant Mr. Windschuttle? My client, Professor Schama, is considered a leading Historian. J. H .Plumb described him as ‘the outstanding Historian of his generation (Wood: p.12). I do not have the time to defend the reputations of all the academics in your book that you attack but I will make this one observation. You claim to place faith in the traditions of the historical academy, but hypocritically, you seem to have little support of the checks and balances that control academic ascendancy. Do you really think that the universities, such as Harvard, The College de France, The University of California, Columbia, The University of Melbourne or La Trobe University, are really so corrupt they would damage their own credibility by allowing ‘murderers' as their senior academics? Simon Schama gained his position out of a certain degree of merit Mr. Windschuttle and it was Historians?perhaps not so much different from you, which put him there.
Prosecution: Objection Your Honour. The Defense is attempting to intimidate my client.
Defense: Intimidate your client! Your client calls Foucault a fascist and Simon Schama a murderer! I think that I am being very generous in my line of questioning (Windschuttle:p:124).
Judge: Objection overruled. You may proceed Mr. Bellamy.
Defense: And to whom is your book it addressed Mr. Windschuttle?
Windschuttle: ‘It is addressed to readers who are primarily interested in History rather than social or literary theory. Traditional History is a properly scientific endeavour' (Windschuttle: ‘Dust cover).
Defense: We have already established that you confuse empiricism with traditional History Mr. Windschuttle. Professor Schama is one of the champions of the re-emergence of ‘traditional History'. You are merely lecturing your own narrow beliefs to a nationalist and parochial minority. The College de France is not a ‘Paris Label' as you call it, nor is all change necessarily fashion (Windschuttle: pp.7-40). You use ‘fashion' as a derogatory term through its association with pretension. Society changes Mr. Windschuttle and how could you possible believe that you, from your home in Sydney, are honestly at the centre of the History profession or the guardian of all its traditions?
Prosecution: Objection Your Honour, the Defense is preaching to the plaintiff.
Defense: I am simply trying to point out the weakness of Mr. Windschuttle's book. His murder thesis does not hold water.
Judge: Yes, Yes, Mr. Bellamy. Do get to the point. Do you have and more questions for the plaintiff.
Defense: I have almost finished Your Honour. How long have you been an Historian Mr. Windschuttle?
Windschuttle: For well over twenty year (Windschuttle: p.5).
Defense: It is my honest belief Mr. Windschuttle that Professor Schama is not in any way trying to kill or maim History. The views that you express in your book are valid, but predictable. It reflects an old guard having to face the new. This is inevitable Mr. Windschuttle; it is part of the History process. It is sensationalist fatalism. The History profession, like all professions, requires innovation Mr Windschuttle. Innovation does not equate to murder. Thank you your honour, I have concluded my case.
Judge: Thank you Mr. Windschuttle, you may step down. We will now break whilst the Jury decides on a verdict.
Judge: Has the Jury decided on a verdict?
Speaker of the Jury: Yes Your Honour. We find the defendant, Professor Simon Schama, not guilty of the charge of the killing of History. If you would like to read the verdict Your Honour.
Judge: The Defense has argued well for your case Professor Schama. It has been achieved through exposing Keith Windschuttle's incorrect accusations towards you in his book The Killing of History. He wrongly accuses you of trying to kill a discipline that is two thousand four hundred years old when the epistemological approach that he is in fact defending is less than one hundred years old. He claims to be a defender of a ‘tradition' when it is in fact your narrative style Professor Schama, which is the more traditional. Your own Defense whilst being cross examined was excellent, except it was rather less convincing on why you chose to invent passages in your own work. The History profession is much more multi-polar than your profess Mr. Windschuttle; you are merely defending one mode at the expense of all others.
- Ormerod, Paul. The Death of Economics London, Faber, 1994
- Plumb, J.H. The Death of the Past, London, Macmillan, 1970.
- Potts, David. "Two Modes of Writing History: The Poverty of Ethnography and the Potential of Narrative" in Australian Historical Association Bulletin March?June 1991, pp.5-24
- Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution London, Viking, 1989.
- Schama, Simon. Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations), London, Granata Books, 1991
- Schama, Simon. Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780?1813, New York, Vintage Books, 1977.
- Schama, Simon. "No Future for History Without its Stories" in The Sydney Morning Herald, 18th November 1991, p13.
- Windschuttle, Keith. The Killing of History. How a Discipline is Being Murdered by Literary Critics and Social Theorists, Sydney, Macleay Press, 1994.
- Wood, Gordon. S. "Novel History" in The New York Review of Books 27th June, 1991, pp.12-16
- Zeldin, Theodore ‘Playmates' in London Review of Books, 13 June 1991, pp.15-16.
 Mr. Windschuttle claims that Foucault's use of Nietzchean ideas makes him a fascist by association.