Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What credentials should the historian of 1989 have?

Timothy Garton Ash knows:
The time has come for a brilliant young historian—at home in many languages; capable of empathizing both with powerholders and with so-called ordinary people; a writer of distinction; tenured, but with few teaching obligations; well-funded for extensive research on several continents; Stakhanovite in work habits; monastic in private life—to start writing this necessary, almost impossible masterpiece: a kind of Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk of modern history.
(I was thinking it would probably be Garton Ash himself.)
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