Friday, May 27, 2011

Knowing, or not, what we think we know.

An old thread, now revived, on SMH.

This thread fits in well with this blog, and is almost the theme of it. But, in general, how much do we really know of the routine of any one era? News tends to feature the rare, unusual, uncommon, or noteworthy, not the ordinary. But news in some ways tends to be what ends up being recorded as history.

The story of German horse use during World War Two is a good example. In popular histories, it tends to be reported that the German army of WWII was a mechanized, modern army. That's partially true, but to a much greater extent it was a hiking and horse using army. By war's end, it was the least mechanized army fighting in Europe.

Why is that not often noted? Well, the German propaganda machine would have had no interest in noting that, and every interest in emphasizing mechanization. Allied reports, for their part, would have emphasized the terrifying and dramatic. So, our view is not entirely accurate from the common sources.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Social and Cultural History and Film

I just posted a thread on this topic on SMH.

Repeating the topic here, I was wondering anyone who happens to stop in here might think in terms of what movies are particularly accurate in depicting any one historical setting.

I'm not restricting this to military films at all, as I noted on SMH, but films in general. And I'm not restricting this to a film about anyone era. Just what films do we here think did a particularly good job in this context?