Earl, the esteemed proprietor of Prometheus6
inhabits some of the more leftward reaches of my blogroll and while we hardly agree on partisan politics, I have found quite a few epistemological commonalities with him. Earl has what I would call a reality-based mind. I asked him to comment on the American Future post and he has done so:
"Fact is, though, between classified information, clouded perceptions in the heat of the moment, propaganda and the "history is written by the victors" factors, there's no way possible to estimate how history will treat Bush or any contemporary figure. As all the historians quoted at American Future said, it's obvious Bush is an important figure in history. But the actual judgment laid on his administration will depend on the moral and circumstances at the time the judgment is made and will change over time.
The surest way for him to be recorded in a positive light would be to steamroll the Middle East flat."
And Marc Shulman
, who initiated the discussion, had this to say in the comments here:
"Historians can aid understanding by comparing and contrasting important current events with events that took place long enough ago so that facts have displaced opinions and dispassionate appraisals have replaced partisanship.
The two-paragraph comment (or the sound bite) makes this impossible. But having your name splashed around as many places as possible means that you'll be able to sell more books (if you still have enough time to write them"
I feel a post coming on historical methodology later tonight, inspired by these two gentlemen.....