Harry Elmer Barnes

Harry Elmer Barnes (1889-1968), historian and sociologist, was one of the most influential American scholars of the twentieth century. He was a major figure in developing the school of history writing known as "revisionism,ā€ that is, the critical, scholarly examination of official or orthodox history, especially of the origins and consequences of the two world wars.

Revisionism, Barnes wrote in a 1958 essay, ā€œimplies an honest search for historical truth and the discrediting of misleading myths that are a barrier to peace and goodwill among nations. In the minds of anti-Revisionists, the term savors of malice, vindictiveness, and an unholy desire to smear the saviors of mankind. Actually, Revisionism means nothing more or less than the effort to correct the historical record in the light of a more complete collection of historical facts, a more calm political atmosphere, and a more objective attitude.ā€

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