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Historical Writing - Essay Example

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Anchored on recorded past events that has created a tangible element of mystique, history has been a major part of defining national identity and creating feelings of patriotic nationalism. The egalitarian values in man, creates a sense of interest in the interpretation of actual events recorded through facts and figures in preserved writing…
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Historical Writing
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Download file to see previous pages Yet not all interpretations of the past are deemed valid as some are simply beyond the burden of evidence and fair interpretation of the historical record is neglected. To communicate a sound interpretation of a historical phenomenon, "an eye witness account" should come within the period.
Ash's extremely readable book is a detailed recount in essay form of the political transformation and revolution of Eastern Europe. He wrote about the events that politically transformed Poland, Hungary, Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia which teaches us lessons against communism and glorifies the struggle for freedom. With his account of the revolt in Budapest and Hungary, the events that exactly took place with the fall of the Berlin wall continue to captivate and inform readers. The happenings in Prague were given out in vivid detail with personal accounts of the leading anti-communists figures. The long and elaborate observations however failed to explain the failures of the earlier movement to destabilize communism which could have completed the fifth part which summarizes his observations and a few drawn out conclusions of the first four chapters. The second section of the book traces the changes in Eastern Europe, however failing to discuss how the revolution became logical in an era that defies prediction. His theories drew out the summary in three words-"Gorbachev, Helsinki and Toqueville", who all set the stage for a revolution. His unique work, managed to create a storytelling atmosphere that combined facts and analysis into a highly readable and enjoyable piece of work that critically dubbed the Magic lantern as "sensational, scholarly and literary.

Reviews have treated his work as a "history of the present" that invites dissenting opinion on the issues concerning a certain time frame that allows history to complete its course. Eventually issues would sooner or later add up to form part of the whole saga that critics were quick to point as Ash's error in writing a somewhat historical piece just after several months of the actual event. We begin to agree with the critics on the sound idea that to recount past history of a certain period, a particular time frame is designated to create a full picture of the results after the tangible and unforgotten era. However, we may be led to believe that Ash was never aiming for the perfect account of the unpredictable. History and journalism has never set a standard within which to form as a guide in the chronology and conclusion in writing historical events and. Ash's writing was more of an art akin to creative journalistic writing and may not be taught to follow the elements of a structured history. His exact account leaves us facts and interesting fragments of his travels along the chronology of an important chapter of recent events.

We are not approaching the modern age with our first few steps--we are in a journey towards scientific advancement and treating literary and journalistic pieces with a degree of control would relegate the writer's efforts into nothing but a sham. Ash was merely raising his ideas and account of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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