Historical Revisionism (negationism) - Revisionist Techniques

Revisionist Techniques

Most (if not all) of the techniques used in historical revisionism are used for the purpose of deception and/or denial. The specific techniques of historical revisionism vary from using forged documents as genuine sources (or inventing reasons to distrust genuine documents), to exploiting opinions by taking them out of their historical context. Other techniques include manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view, and deliberately mis-translating texts (into other languages)... etc. Instead of submitting their work to the challenges of a peer review, revisionists rewrite history to support an agenda, and often use fallacies to obtain the desired results. Because historical revisionism can be used to deny, deceive, or influence explanations and perceptions, it can be regarded as a technique of propaganda. Finally, techniques of historical revisionism operate within the intellectual battlespace in order to advance an interpretation or perception of history.

British historian Richard J. Evans describes the difference in technique between historians and revisionists thus:

Reputable and professional historians do not suppress parts of quotations from documents that go against their own case, but take them into account, and, if necessary, amend their own case, accordingly. They do not present, as genuine, documents which they know to be forged just because these forgeries happen to back up what they are saying. They do not invent ingenious, but implausible, and utterly unsupported reasons for distrusting genuine documents, because these documents run counter to their arguments; again, they amend their arguments, if this is the case, or, indeed, abandon them altogether. They do not consciously attribute their own conclusions to books and other sources, which, in fact, on closer inspection, actually say the opposite. They do not eagerly seek out the highest possible figures in a series of statistics, independently of their reliability, or otherwise, simply because they want, for whatever reason, to maximize the figure in question, but rather, they assess all the available figures, as impartially as possible, in order to arrive at a number that will withstand the critical scrutiny of others. They do not knowingly mistranslate sources in foreign languages in order to make them more serviceable to themselves. They do not willfully invent words, phrases, quotations, incidents and events, for which there is no historical evidence, in order to make their arguments more plausible.

Read more about this topic:  Historical Revisionism (negationism)

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