James M. Banner, Jr.

Jun 4, 2021

The Ever-Changing Past

Why All History Is Revisionist History

Yale University Press 2021

In recent years the phrase “revisionist history” has emerged as a label for politically-correct reexaminations of an unalterable understanding of our past. As James M. Banner, Jr. demonstrates in his book The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History Is Revisionist History (Yale UP, 2021), such a definition ignores how historical knowledge in the West has always been fluid and subject to reinterpretation by scholars. As Banner illustrates, such revisionism occurs in a variety of ways and can reflect everything from the discovery of new information to the reconsideration of the past from different perspectives the present. These approaches are evident even in the earliest works of history, and reflect the changes that have taken place in civilization over time. By addressing recent public controversies at which revisionism was at the heart, Banner shows that It is through this process that we better understand who we are today and the course we will take as a society going forward.

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