Revisionist histories

Josep Maria Fàbregas notes that the remit of the campaign to “recuperate historical memory” doesn’t appear to extend to Radio Liberty, to which Gorbachov listened during the 1991 coup, and which is to be demolished today to make way for the developers. It would be most surprising if it did: in Catalonia, at any rate, it is the public mask of a long-standing state-sponsored campaign to create an official, legally recognised history founded in victimist, leftist, nationalist mythology (see eg this old sardana thing; I’ve been meaning to do one about the language for ages). Academic history here is dominated by a group who came to power following the death of the dictator and, in the words of Josep Fontana, believed that:

Against scientific history, in the sense of neutral and impartial, we must advocate political history, objective but partisan.

The quote is taken from a good critical piece by Juan Carlos Girauta. One of the funniest examples I have seen recently of Spanish nationalist-socialist historiography was a book by a socialist Extremaduran prof which, the wrap told us, “refuted Pio Moa’s lies.” Now, in any country but this, Pío Moa would be regarded as a lousy historian, but the book made no attempt to lay a punch on him, instead consisting–insofar as it consisted of anything–of a wild and illiterate assault on l’autre vice anglais, empiricism in its most inoffensive form.

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