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Vocapedia > Time > Past


History, Historians, Historiography




Izhar Cohen

The Guardian        G2        p. 3        30 July 2005















Why is YouTube Erasing History?

NYT    23 October 2019





Why is YouTube Erasing History?

Video        NYT Opinion        23 October 2019


Under pressure to remove “extremist content,”

platforms are purging vital human rights evidence.


In war zones,

evidence captured on smartphones

can provide a path to justice

— but platforms like YouTube and Facebook

are getting in the way.


In the Video Op-Ed above,

the Syrian activist and archivist Hadi Al Khatib

urges platforms to overhaul and improve

their content moderation systems.


He fears that automated removal,

which in 2017 deleted 10 percent of the archive

documenting violence in Syria,

risks erasing critical history.


As Dia Kayyali explains,

there is no clear-cut answer for YouTube and Facebook,

which deal with tens of thousands of minutes of video

uploaded every second.


These platforms have come under intense pressure

to police extremist content

and have been criticized

as acting too slowly

when killers live-stream mass shootings.


Algorithms can act quickly,

but they are often un-nuanced and fallible.


Meanwhile, human content moderators

endure an enormous psychological burden

when they analyze gruesome content.


Facebook recently announced an oversight board

with independent experts to help monitor

content moderation.


Mr. Al Khatib thinks this is a good step,

but in a world in which platforms

hold part of the key to humanitarian justice,

it’s still not enough.




















Robert Herzstein, center,

presenting documents linking Kurt Waldheim

to Nazi war crimes in 1986.


Photograph: Marilyn K. Yee

The New York Times


Robert Herzstein,

Historian Who Linked a U.N. Leader to Nazi War Crimes,

Dies at 75


FEB. 9, 2015
















history        UK










































































history        USA


























watch?v=WOzNCaHlW4I - NYT - 23 October 2019

















history class        USA











engage in revisionist history        USA










rewrite history        USA










a truly historic day        UK










historically        USA










Texas, USA


Republican lawmakers

try to reframe Texas history lessons

and play down references to slavery

and anti-Mexican discrimination

that are part of the state’s founding.


The proposals in Texas,

a state that influences

school curriculums around the country

through its huge textbook market,

amount to some of the most aggressive efforts

to control the teaching of American history.


And they come

as nearly a dozen other Republican-led states

seek to ban or limit how the role of slavery

and pervasive effects of racism can be taught.










historiography        UK










sanitization of history        USA










erase        USA










omission        USA










USA > Confederate mytthology        USA










erase history        USA




watch?v=WOzNCaHlW4I - NYT - 23 October 2019








History Channel > This day in history










timeline > Black history        UK


























Black history        USA



















change history        USA










go down in history        USA










the burden of history








the Middle Ages        USA










Neanderthals        USA














extinction of large mammals and the Neanderthals        USA










die-offs of large mammals        USA










prehistoric        USA


















historian        UK












USA > historian        UK










William Owen Chadwick        UK        1916-2015


historian of Christianity










historian > Stanley Ira Kutler        USA        1934-2015


historian who fought for the release

of President Richard M. Nixon’s

White House tapes

and concluded that they proved Nixon

was “deeply and intimately involved

in sometimes criminal abuses of power,

both before and after the Watergate break-in”










historian > Robert Edwin Herzstein        USA        1940-2015


historian who linked

a U.N. leader to Nazi war crimes










historian > Ian Kershaw        UK















Nicholas Peter Brooks, medieval historian        UK        1941-2014


The Anglo-Saxons

retain a powerful grip

on English imaginations.


The discovery in 2009,

just south of Watling Street,

the ancient trackway

paved by the Romans,

of gold and silver artefacts

that became known

as the Staffordshire hoard

attracted much attention

but raised many questions.


One of the few people equipped

to propose solutions

was Nicholas Brooks,

emeritus professor

of medieval history

at Birmingham University,

who was soon appointed to the panel

co-ordinating research into the finds.










Richard Nelson Current        USA        1912-2012


Civil War historian

whose award-winning scholarship

helped demythologize Abraham Lincoln

and raise Lincoln studies

to a professional level

of scholarly inquiry










historian > Eric John Hobsbawm        1917-2012


Eric J. Hobsbawm ('s)

three-volume economic history

of the rise of industrial capitalism

established him as Britain’s

pre-eminent Marxist historian




Mr. Hobsbawm,

the leading light in a group of historians

within the British Communist Party

that included Christopher Hill,

E. P. Thompson and Raymond Williams,

helped recast

the traditional understanding of history

as a series of great events

orchestrated by great men.


Instead, he focused

on labor movements

in the 19th century

and what he called

the “pre-political” resistance

of bandits, millenarians

and urban rioters

in early capitalist societies.


His masterwork remains

his incisive and often eloquent

survey of the period he referred to

as “the long 19th century,”

which he analyzed in three volumes:

“The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848,”

“The Age of Capital: 1848-1875”

and “The Age of Empire: 1874-1914.”


To this trilogy

he appended a coda in 1994,

“The Age of Extremes,”

published in the United States

with the subtitle

“A History of the World, 1914-1991.”







































historian > John Desmond Patrick Keegan    UK    1934-2012


Englishman widely considered

to be the pre-eminent

military historian of his era

and the author of more than 20 books,

including the masterwork

“The Face of Battle”










historian > Oscar Handlin    USA    1915-2011



Pulitzer Prize-winning historian

whose best-known book

altered public perceptions

about the role of immigration

in the arc of American history










historian > Tony Robert Judt    UK    1948-2010


























archives        UK

























Internet archive


Internet Archive is a non-profit library

of millions of free books, movies, software,

music, websites, and more.










National Security Archive        USA


Founded in 198

 by journalists and scholars

to check rising government secrecy,

the National Security Archive

combines a unique range of functions:

investigative journalism center,

research institute on international affairs,

library and archive

of declassified U.S. documents

("the world's

largest nongovernmental collection"

according to the Los Angeles Times),

leading non-profit user

of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act,

public interest law firm defending

and expanding public access

to government information,

global advocate of open government,

and indexer and publisher of former secrets.










University of Wyoming > American Heritage Center        USA










“the morgue”        USA


— not the kind filled with dead bodies,

but rather the nickname

for The Times’s physical archive,

located in a basement of a building

down the block

from the Times Building in Manhattan.










repository        USA




















Holocaust denier        USA


















archaeologist        UK












Corpus of news articles


Time > Past > History, Historians,


Archives, Historiography




Eric J. Hobsbawm,

Marxist Historian,

Dies at 95


October 1, 2012

The New York Times



Eric J. Hobsbawm, whose three-volume economic history of the rise of industrial capitalism established him as Britain’s pre-eminent Marxist historian, died on Monday in London. He was 95.

The cause was pneumonia, said his daughter, Julia Hobsbawm.

Mr. Hobsbawm, the leading light in a group of historians within the British Communist Party that included Christopher Hill, E. P. Thompson and Raymond Williams, helped recast the traditional understanding of history as a series of great events orchestrated by great men. Instead, he focused on labor movements in the 19th century and what he called the “pre-political” resistance of bandits, millenarians and urban rioters in early capitalist societies.

His masterwork remains his incisive and often eloquent survey of the period he referred to as “the long 19th century,” which he analyzed in three volumes: “The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848,” “The Age of Capital: 1848-1875” and “The Age of Empire: 1874-1914.” To this trilogy he appended a coda in 1994, “The Age of Extremes,” published in the United States with the subtitle “A History of the World, 1914-1991.”

“Eric J. Hobsbawm was a brilliant historian in the great English tradition of narrative history,” Tony Judt, a professor of history at New York University, wrote in an e-mail in 2008, two years before he died. “On everything he touched he wrote much better, had usually read much more, and had a broader and subtler understanding than his more fashionable emulators. If he had not been a lifelong Communist he would be remembered simply as one of the great historians of the 20th century.”

Unlike many of his comrades, Mr. Hobsbawm, who lived in London, stuck with the Communist Party after the Soviet Union crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the Czech reform movement in 1968. He eventually let his party membership lapse about the time the Berlin Wall fell and the Eastern bloc disintegrated in 1989.

“I didn’t want to break with the tradition that was my life and with what I thought when I first got into it,” he told The New York Times in 2003. “I still think it was a great cause, the emancipation of humanity. Maybe we got into it the wrong way, maybe we backed the wrong horse, but you have to be in that race, or else human life isn’t worth living.”

Eric John Hobsbawm was born in 1917 in Alexandria, Egypt, where a confused clerk at the British consulate misspelled the last name of his father, Leopold Percy Hobsbaum, an unsuccessful merchant from the East End of London. His mother, Nelly Grün, was Austrian, and after World War I ended, the family, which was Jewish, settled in Vienna. The Hobsbawms were struggling to make ends meet when, in 1929, Eric’s father dropped dead on his own doorstep, probably of a heart attack. Two years later Nelly died of lung disease, and her son was shipped off to live with relatives in Berlin.

In the waning months of the Weimar Republic, Mr. Hobsbawm, a gifted student, became a passionate Communist and a true believer in the Bolshevik Revolution. “The dream of the October Revolution is still there somewhere inside me, as deleted texts are still waiting to be recovered by experts, somewhere on the hard disks of computers,” he wrote in “Interesting Times,” a memoir published in 2003.

Mr. Hobsbawm, a cool introvert, found exhilaration and fellowship in the radical politics of the street in Germany. As a member of a Communist student organization, he slipped party fliers under apartment doors in the weeks after Hitler’s appointment as chancellor and at one point concealed an illegal duplicating machine under his bed. Within weeks, however, he was sent to Britain to live with yet another set of relatives.

Forbidden by his uncle to join either the Communist Party or the Labour Party (which Mr. Hobsbawm hoped to subvert from within), he concentrated on his studies at St. Marylebone Grammar School in London and won a scholarship to Cambridge. There he joined the Communist Party in 1936, edited the weekly journal Granta and accepted an invitation to joint the elite, informal society of intellectuals known as the Apostles.

“It was an invitation that hardly any Cambridge undergraduate was likely to refuse, since even revolutionaries like to be in a suitable tradition,” he wrote in “Interesting Times.” He described himself as a “Tory communist,” unsympathetic to the politics of personal liberation that marked the 1960s.

Mr. Hobsbawm graduated from King’s College with highest honors in 1939 and went on to earn a master’s degree in 1942 and a doctorate in 1951, writing his dissertation on the Fabian Society. In 1943 he married Muriel Seaman, a civil servant and fellow Communist. That marriage ended in divorce in 1950. In 1962 he married Marlene Schwarz, who survives him. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his son Andrew; another son, Joss Bennathan; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Mr. Hobsbawm served in the British Army from 1939 to 1946, a period he later called the most unhappy of his life. Excluded from any meaningful job by his politics, he languished on the sidelines in Britain as others waged the great armed struggle against fascism. “I did nothing of significance in it,” he wrote of the war, “and was not asked to.”

He began teaching history at Birkbeck College in the University of London in 1947, and from 1949 to 1955 he was a history fellow at King’s College.

Mr. Hobsbawm and his colleagues in the Historians’ Study Group of the Communist Party established labor history as an important field of study and in 1952 created an influential journal, Past and Present, as a home base.

The rich dividends from this new approach to writing history were apparent in works like “Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” “Laboring Men: Studies in the History of Labor” and “Industry and Empire,” the companion volume to Christopher Hill’s “Reformation to Industrial Revolution.”

During this period, Mr. Hobsbawm also wrote jazz criticism for The New Statesman and Nation under the pseudonym Francis Newton, a sly reference to the jazz trumpeter Frankie Newton, an avowed Communist. His jazz writing led to a book, “The Jazz Scene,” published in 1959.

If his political allegiances stymied his professional advancement, as he argued in his memoir, honors and recognition eventually came his way. At the University of London, he was finally promoted to a readership in 1959 and was named professor of economic and social history in 1970. After retiring in 1982 he taught at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University and the New School for Social Research in Manhattan.

The accolades for works like his “Age of” trilogy led to membership in learned societies and honorary degrees, but to the end of his life the Communist militant coexisted uneasily with the professional historian.

Not until his 80s, in “The Age of Extremes,” did Mr. Hobsbawm dare turn to the century whose horrific events had shaped his politics. The book was an anguished reckoning with a period he had avoided as a historian because, as he wrote in his memoir, “given the strong official Party and Soviet views about the 20th century, one could not write about anything later than 1917 without the strong likelihood of being denounced as a political heretic.”

Mr. Hobsbawm continued to write well into his 90s, appearing frequently in The New York Review of Books and other periodicals. His “How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism” was published last year, and “Fractured Times,” a collection of essays on 20th-century culture and society, is scheduled to be published by Little, Brown in Britain in March 2013.

Although increasingly on the defensive, and quite willing to say that the great Communist experiment had not only failed but had been doomed from the start, Mr. Hobsbawm refused to recant or, many critics complained, to face up to the human misery it had created. “Historical understanding is what I’m after, not agreement, approval, or sympathy,” he wrote in his memoir.

In 1994, he shocked viewers when, in an interview with Michael Ignatieff on the BBC, he said that the deaths of millions of Soviet citizens under Stalin would have been worth it if a genuine Communist society had been the result.

“The greatest price he will pay is to be remembered not as Eric J. Hobsbawm the historian but as Eric J. Hobsbawm the unrepentant Communist historian,” Mr. Judt said. “It’s unfair and it’s a pity, but that is the cross he will bear.”


This article has been revised

to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 1, 2012

An earlier version of the obituary

of the historian Eric J. Hobsbawm

rendered his name incorrectly in several passages.

It is not Hobsbawn or Hobsbaum.

Eric J. Hobsbawm, Marxist Historian, Dies at 95,






History 1980-2000

has disappeared into the ether.



March 23, 2007

From The Times

Ben Macintyre


We know what was written in the first telegram, sent by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844: “What hath God wrought?” We know the words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell when he made the first telephone call in 1876, to his assistant, Thomas Watson: “Mr Watson — come here — I want to see you.” (The “polite telephone manner” had not yet been invented.) But we have absolutely no idea what was said in the first e-mail, just 35 years ago.

The digital age brought with it the false promise that everything written, filmed, photographed or recorded might now be preserved, for ever. The “save” key would eliminate the need for filing and storage. Since 1945 we have gathered 100 times more information than in the whole of human history up until that point. Entire libraries could be preserved on disks that fitted into a pocket. Paper was dead.

It has not quite worked out that way. Digital information may be impossibly voluminous and convenient, but it is also vulnerable and dangerously disposable. Already a vast amount of information has been lost. CDs disintegrate in just 20 years, whereas the Domesday Book, written on sheepskin in 1086, will still be with us in another millennium. Few people still write regular letters, but their replacement, the ubiquitous e-mail, is so easily deleted and forgotten, to say nothing of the fleeting text message.

Technology has already left behind the forms of electronic storage once expected to be eternal: the laser disk, the 5¼in, the 3.5in floppy, the Amstrad all-in-one word processor have all been flung into obsolescence, often taking their information with them. Only a small fraction of government bodies and companies even bother to archive their digital material. Who, save the most fastidious self-chronicler, takes the trouble to embalm their own e-mails electronically? Historians of the future may look back on the 1980s and 1990s as a black hole in the collective memory, a time when the historical record thinned alarmingly owing to the pace of technological change. Future biographers may be reduced to trying to extract personality from whatever electronic fragments survive, cheque stubs and those few ritual moments (birth, death and overdraft) when a subject still puts pen to paper.

I have recently spent many hours in the National Archives, ferreting through the wartime records of MI5.

The sheer richness of written material is overwhelming: letters, memos, telephone transcripts, diaries, scribbled notes in the margins. You can smell the pipe smoke and personalities wafting off the pages.

When MI5’s current files are released decades hence, historians will have a far drier time of it. Electronic messages not deemed to be of “archival” value are routinely deleted by civil servants, simply as an insurance policy — significant or potentially damaging information is strictly verbal, particularly since Jo Moore’s attempt to “bury bad news” by e-mail.

Arguably, the most important and reliable real-time histories of places such as Iraq and Iran are currently being written on weblogs, the online journals and discussion forums that are, by definition, mutable and impermanent. A historian 50 years hence would probably get the most accurate picture of life in Baghdad today by collecting and studying the blogs of the moment, but it may already be too late. The average life expectancy of a website is about 44 days, roughly the same as the common house fly.

Just as importantly, by committing to erasable electronic memory the things we once committed to paper, we may be denying future generations the chance to witness the warp and weft of our lives. Our ancestors were writers and hoarders. I have a collection of my grandfather’s letters in the attic, describing the life of a sheep farmer in New South Wales in the 1930s. They are of interest, I suspect, to no one but me, but to me they are invaluable, a chronicle of where I come from. What will we bequeath to our grandchildren? At best a bunch of antiquated disks that they may well be unable to open and read.

Anyone (with a magnifying glass and patience) can read letters, but there is a real danger that technology will leave much of the electronically written record marooned and illegible. The BBC’s Doomsday Project of 1986, intended to record the economic, social and cultural state of Britain for all time, was recorded on two 12in videodisks. By 2000 it was obsolete, and rescued only thanks to a specialist team working with a single surviving laser disk player.

When Nasa sent two Viking Lander spacecraft to Mars in 1975, the data was carefully recorded on magnetic tape. Two decades later, no one could decode it. The original printouts had be tracked down, and typed out again on paper.

And that, ironic as it seems, may be the answer. The Digital Preservation Coalition, a group encouraging governments, businesses and individuals to curate and preserve electronic information, recently published a report stating that “storage of printed copies of important documents is generally accepted as a reasonably failsafe method of preservation”.

This, then, is a plea for paper. So long as it is stored properly and acid-free, paper endures. Leave the ephemera to the electronic ether, but if you value certain words and images, preserve them on paper. The “print” button is a more faithful saviour than the “save” button.

Before the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson sent his message to the fleet by raising flags using Sir Home Popham’s telegraphic code (a rather newfangled form of communication, which not everyone approved of) — whereupon the words were written down for posterity, on paper.

Today the same message would probably be sent by text — instant, easy, and instantly perishable: “UK xpx dat evry man wll do his duT.”

History 1980-2000 has disappeared into the ether. Sorry,
columnists/ben_macintyre/article1555570.ece - broken link










Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia





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misinformation, disinformation, influence attacks



data loss, digital archiving / memories



getting older



health > Alzheimer's






war > remembrance






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The Guardian > History books        UK






BBC archive        UK






British Pathé archive > 20th century

3,500 hours of historic footage on YouTube








National Archives        USA






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The online tool for teaching with documents,

from the National Archives






Library of Congress > Today in History        USA





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