Today’s guest has made it his mission to look at the chroniclers who have shaped our understanding of the past by looking at their personal history and taking into account how their personal story shaped their biases and therefore their interpretation of history.
Author Richard Cohen talks to Anne Marie about his new book, Making History: The Storytellers Who Shaped the Past. Cohen says “Every author of a work of history is an interpreter, a filter, with his or her own personal input.”
He has thoroughly investigated and compared the published works and private utterances of our greatest chroniclers to discover the rivalries, the religious beliefs, the lost loves, and the cultural pressures that informed their (and, subsequently, our) views of the world.
Richard Cohen is the author of By the Sword, Chasing the Sun, and How to Write Like Tolstoy. He is the former publishing director of two leading London publishing houses, he has edited books that have won the Pulitzer, Booker, and Whitbread/Costa prizes, while twenty-one have been #1 bestsellers. He has written for most UK quality newspapers as well as for The New York Times Book Review and The Wall Street Journal, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Mentioned in Interview:
Edward Gibbon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gibbon
Leo Tolstoy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Tolstoy
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn
The Gulag Archipelago: An Experiment in Literary Investigation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gulag_Archipelago
William Hickling Prescott: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Prescott
Hugh Trevor Roper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Trevor-Roper
David Knowles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Knowles_(scholar)
A.J.P. Taylor: https://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/08/obituaries/ajp-taylor-british-historian-dies.html
Works by Richard Cohen:
Making History, Simon & Schuster: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Making-History/Richard-Cohen/9781982195786
Chasing the Sun, Book Browse Summary: https://www.bookbrowse.com/bb_briefs/detail/index.cfm/ezine_preview_number/5670/chasing-the-sun
How to Write Like Tolstoy, Kirkus Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/richard-cohen/how-to-write-like-tolstoy/
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