View single post by ole
 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 04:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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Now, academically, let me point out that by human nature, every person is biased.  We are subjective by nature, there is no such thing as a truly "objective observer". Even every good set of scientific data must have it's "bias" calculated.

Is very true, Joanie. But aren't we talking about a bias that goes a bit overboard? I've heard that Shelby Foote (hisself) had a southern bias and I've heard that he had a northern bias. Does this mean that he had a bias only in the mind of the reader? I'd suppose that bias must be present, so long as it doesn't distort historical accuracy.

Am currently reading Time on the Cross -- Fogel and Engerman, with Slave Testimony -- Blassingame. Both appear to attempt to avoid bias. But there is a slant in both. Fogel and Engerman use facts and statistics and scientific calculations to prove that slaves were better off than one might think. Blassingame makes no bones about the illigetimacy of his interviews -- too small a sample and only the literate. Both, however, do have a story.

As flawed as were the Slave Narratives published from interviews of former slaves in the 1930s, there remains some value. Bias is in the reading.

But I've rambled on far too long. Lower the lance, Joanie. Charge!


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