I’m redrafting early chapters at present, so no “can’t fit it into the book” content of interest is emerging, hence the low frequency of posting. That will change shortly but in the meantime, a separate reading project has reminded me of something close to my heart.
Writing the history of power reactors is tough from one angle: nearly everyone I talk to has firm ideas about the subject, but his or her intellectual contributions are inevitably ahistorical, that is, I’m offered opinions independent of any research. Inevitably, also, any historical view is either antinuclear or pro-nuclear. Black or white.
I’ve begun reading a brilliant, long-scale history, Jill Lepore’s These Truths: A History of the United States. I haven’t made much progress, but listen, my friend, to this early view:
History isn’t only a subject; it’s also a method. My method is, generally, to let the dead speak for themselves. I’ve pressed their words between these pages, like flowers, for their beauty, or like insects, for their hideousness. The work of the historian is not the work of the critic or of the moralist; it is the work of the sleuth and the storyteller, the philosopher and the scientist, the keeper of tales, the sayer of sooth, the teller of truth.
The truth: that’s what we strive towards.