The abuse of history is common and quite possibly once more on the rise. Although this is well documented, there is no general theory that enables historians to identify, prove, explain, and evaluate the many types of abuse of history. In this book, the author, founder of the Network of Concerned Historians, presents such a theory. Reflecting on the responsible use of history, the author identifies the duties that the living has toward the dead and analyzes the rights to memory and history necessary to fulfill these duties. He concludes his powerful argument by proposing a code of ethics as a guide for responsible historians. This work is vital for any historian who wants to oppose and prevent the abuse of history.
Antoon De Baets, educated at the University of Ghent, Belgium, is a historian at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. In recent years, he has written mainly on censorship of history and ethics of historians, including Censorship of Historical Thought: A World Guide, 1945-2000 (Greenwood Press, 2002). He co-ordinates the Network of Concerned Historians and has been published in seven languages.
Foreword Jurgen Kocka A word of gratitude Acknowledgments List of tables and appendixes Introduction PART I: IRRESPONSIBLE HISTORY Chapter 1. A theory of the abuse of history Chapter 2. The dictator's secret archives Chapter 3. Defamation cases against historians PART II: RESPONSIBLE HISTORY Chapter 4. Duties of the living to the dead Chapter 5. The rights to memory and history Chapter 6. A code of ethics for historians Epilogue Bibliography Biographical note Index