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A Diplomat for the History Wars single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 A Diplomat for the History Wars
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'In this experimental reflection on the ‘history wars’ associated with Keith Windschuttle’s writings, the author recruits a storyteller, an ex-diplomat, whose yarning style subtly contests the ‘graphocentrism’ of Windschuttle’s faith in the truth of the written document. For the latter, facts are both enshrined in print, yet forever ‘out there’ in the world innocently waiting to be gathered. Against this, the essay argues that facts are indeed ‘fabricated’– in an appropriation of Windschuttle’s critique of black arm-band historians. Not only fabricated, but well-fabricated1 according to the best protocols and methods of historical research. If historical facts are thus constructed, they must also be institutionally supported so that they can continue to exist, and that too is an on-going negotiation in which diplomacy must also play a part. The negotiation is not between the veracity of facts and the distortions of ideology; peace will never be achieved along that pathway. The real war is between the most cherished values that support the manufacture of the facts that serve the parties involved. The skilled diplomat intervenes to listen to what it is they hold most dear, and then negotiates what they might relinquish to achieve a workable peace.' (Publication abstract)

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