[Marxism] The 1619 Project and the Work of the Historian « The Junto

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 23 17:14:23 MST 2020

Yesterday Princeton historian Sean Wilentz published his latest piece 
opposing the 1619 Project at The Atlantic. In it, Wilentz argues that 
he—along with the other historians who signed a letter to the editors of 
the New York Times Magazine questioning the Project’s conclusions—are 
taking issue as a “matter of facts” that were presented in the 1619 
Project, in particular in the essay authored by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the 
lead editor for the magazine’s issue, and in the letter of response from 
the Magazine’s editor, Jack Silverstein.

I’d initially planned not to comment publicly on the 1619 Project, but 
Wilentz’s essay is flawed in the precise area of my 
expertise—Revolutionary-era newspapers—in ways that diminish the 
credence of his claims. Critiques of the 1619 Project have tended to 
obscure the practice of historical research and writing, but there is 
nonetheless an opportunity to illuminate how we locate, contextualize, 
and interrogate sources. In making that clear, we can understand better 
the debate about interpretations of the American Revolution.


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