Does Wikipedia Tell the Truth?

Haymarket-Riot Several years ago, controversy erupted over the treatment of the famous Haymarket riot of 1886 and subsequent trial resulting in the conviction and hanging of a group of anarchists. Dr. Timothy Meller-Kruse, a labor historian at Ball State University, had completed a comprehensive reappraisal of the Haymarket events, based on a close examination of primary documents, but when he tried to correct the Wikipedia entry on the topic based on his findings, he found his efforts firmly rebuffed by the Wikipedia editors. In this piece, Nathaniel Knight reviews the controversy and considers the underlying issues regarding historical methodology and understandings of historical truth.

Owen Chadwick Remembered

owen chadwick1By Dermot Quinn, Professor of History, Seton Hall University

When the church historian Owen Chadwick died earlier this year at the age of 99, still writing almost to the end, still with ideas to share, still pondering the historical and moral lessons of a lifetime, he seemed a figure from an earlier, more heroic age of Christian scholarship. His life had been laden with honors – at various times was Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Regius Professor of History at the same university, the Ford and Herbert Hensley Henson lecturer at Oxford, the Gifford lecturer at Edinburgh, a Fellow of the British Academy, a member of the Order of Merit – but these badges somehow fail to capture the full measure of the man. He conferred dignity on them, not they on him.

History and the Game of Thrones

By Williamjames Hoffer, Professor of History, Seton Hall University

The television show “Game of Thrones” (GoT) and the books upon which it is based, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” (ASOIAF) series by George R. R. Martin (GRRM), have millions of fans around the world and for good reason: It is a fascinating story full of twists and turns, mature themes, intriguing characters, and, of course, dragons.