Crimes against History: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Crimes against History

1st Edition

By Antoon De Baets


186 pages

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pub: 2018-12-14
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Crimes against History takes a global approach to the extreme forms of censorship to which history and historians have been subjected through the ages.

The book opens by considering the varieties of censorship, from suppression, dismissal, and defamation to persecution and murder. Part I, "Kill switch," tells the tragic story of how the censorship of history has sometimes turned into deadly crimes against history, with chapters looking at topics such as historians and archivists being killed for political reasons, attacks by political leaders on historians, iconoclastic breaks with the past, and fake news. Part II,"Fragile freedom," reverses the perspective and examines how the censorship of history has backfired. Chapters consider the subversive power of historical analogies and resistance to the censorship of history. The book also contains a "Provisional memorial for history producers killed for political reasons (from ancient times until 2017)". It is a double tribute: to the history producers who were killed and to those who mustered the courage to resist the blows of censorship.

Comparing case studies from across the world and written from a human rights perspective, Crimes against History is an essential resource for anyone interested in how deeply history and politics influence each other, as well as for anyone wanting a fuller view of the history of history.

Table of Contents

List of tables


Introduction: The integrity of history

Part I: Kill switch

Chapter 1: Historians killed for political reasons

Chapter 2: Archivists killed for political reasons

Chapter 3: Public attacks of political leaders on historians

Chapter 4: Iconoclastic breaks with the past

Chapter 5: Fake news—the latest threat?

Part II: Fragile freedom

Chapter 6: The subversive power of historical analogies

Chapter 7: Resistance to the censorship of history

Epilogue: Embers of courage

Provisional memorial for history producers killed for political reasons (from ancient times to 2017)


Concise bibliography


About the Author

Antoon De Baets is professor of history, ethics, and human rights by special appointment of the Foundation Euroclio at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is the author of 185 publications, including Responsible History, and the coordinator of the Network of Concerned Historians.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Historiography