11 Decembrie 2015 Lasă un comentariu
What if? by Rebecca Onion
What is worse, counterfactual speculations spring naturally from deeply conservative assumptions about what makes history tick. Like bestselling popular histories, counterfactuals usually take as their subjects war, biography or an old-school history of technology that emphasises the importance of the inventor. (This is part of why Evans termed counterfactualism ‘a form of intellectual atavism’.) Popular counterfactuals dwell on the outcomes of military conflicts (the Civil War and the Second World War are disproportionately popular), or ponder what would have happened if a leader with the fame of Hitler had (or, in some cases, hadn’t) been assassinated. These kinds of counterfactual speculations assign an overwhelming importance to political and military leaders – a focus that seems regressive to many historians who consider historical events as the result of complicated social and cultural processes, not the choices of a small group of ‘important’ people.