[Marxism] Fwd: Lemisch's On Active Service Now Available Online | New Politics

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 6 16:46:36 MST 2017

At the tumultuous 1969 meeting of the American Historical Association, I 
presented a paper, “Present-Mindedness Revisited: Anti-Radicalism as a 
Goal of American Historical Writing Since World War II” (there is a 
description of this presentation and the atmosphere at the AHA in Peter 
Novick’s chapter, “Collapse of Comity,” in That Noble Dream: The 
‘Objectivity Question’ and the American Historical Profession. The paper 
had an interesting history after that first presentation. After much 
positive (and negative) attention at the AHA meeting and in the New York 
Times and elsewhere, I submitted it serially to the American Historical 
Review and then to the Journal of American History. It received 
stunningly negative readings. R.K Webb of AHR wrote: (3/27/70) “I wonder 
if the activism of the New Left historians today, unlike the activism 
you so deplore in your article, may not be a bar to serious scholarship 
that can appeal to any scholar outside the sect itself...” Marty Ridge 
at the JAH (a nice man) sent me (7/17/70) a fifteen-page handwritten 
negative report from his anonymous reader, who wrote, “Lemisch is 
certainly the Tony Galento [an unorthodox boxer] of the Left I don’t 
know how you can tell him that he certainly cannot do it in the pages of 
the Journal. He probably believes that he can, which says something 
about how far he and his ilk are estranged from civilization [emphasis 
added].” Ridge himself wrote, “This essay more than any that I have read 
in the last several years has disturbed me.”

full: http://newpol.org/content/lemischs-active-service-now-available-online

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