History is everywhere in the media. Television viewers can spend every evening watching a different historian expound upon Empire, Witchcraft, the Civil War or Royal Mistresses or go to the cinema and watch reconstructions of the Second World War, American Civil War or Imperial China. Even current affairs reporting on television, radio or in newspapers implicitly or explicitly includes historical explanations. This book examines the boom in history, in television and film, newspapers and radio and the constraints and opportunities it offers. Leading historians and high profile broadcasters, such as Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schama, Tristram Hunt, Ian Kershaw and David Puttnam, draw on their personal experiences to explore the problems and highlights of representing history in the media.
MELVYN BRAGG Novelist and Broadcaster TAYLOR DOWNING Writer and Independent Television Producer MAX HASTINGS Writer and Historian TRISTRAM HUNT Writer and Historian, Queen Mary College, University of London, UK JEREMY ISAACS Independent Television Producer IAN KERSHAW Professor of Modern History, University of Sheffield, UK DAVID PUTTNAM Film Producer SIMON SCHAMA University Professor of Art History and History, Columbia University, New York, USA JEAN SEATON Professor of Media History, University of Westminster, London, UK ROGER SMITHER Keeper of the Film and Video Archives, Imperial War Museum, London, UK JOHN TUSA Managing Director of the Barbican Arts Centre, London, UK
'This book brings us the thoughts of Ian Kershaw, Tristram Hunt, Melvyn Bragg, Simon Schama, John Tusa, Jeremy Isaacs and others, in pieces that build up into a surprisingly penetrating look at what history can do for the media, and - this is the surprising bit - what the broadcast media can do for history...History made and in the making, and the time-loops it both creates and follows, prove endlessly fascinating in these writings. There is something here that will make anyone think more deeply about the interaction between a new and apparently instant medium and an old and apparently time-enhanced discipline. It is unlikely, after this, that anyone can continue to accuse the best of TV history of being nothing byt a pageant of kings and queens.' - Financial Times Magazine
'interesting and illuminating essays on diverse aspects of this recent cultural and intellectual revolution [the flourishing of history in the media]. - The Sunday Telegraph
'Simon Schama and Jeremy Isaacs offer particularly eloquent apologia for the sort of period dramatics that have happened on television' - The Spectator