Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Point for Lincoln

As a historian, I sometimes run up against the demand for this kind of historical interpretation.

"Whatever happened to the loser, Douglas?" is right up there with "Alexander Hamilton. How big a jerk was he?" and "Tell me about the time (x) got killed in a duel/a nasty early American disease/blown up by a cannon". True or not, these are the most popular parts of history. Someone recently referred to it as the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" approach to making history appealing. Since rock and roll hadn't been invented yet, we're forced to leave it out (must. avoid. anachronism.). Fortunately we don't have to dig very deep to find great stories about famous Americans going nuts on opium, and we're also working with the ever-scandalous Peggy Eaton Affair. We have the goods in our knowledge arsenal.

Still. I sort of wish this had happened. Proof of the historical origins of "your mom" jokes would be revolutionary!

No comments:

Post a Comment