History can’t be neutral
Writing about the First World War ( Was it Worth it?, November), Richard J Evans says the historian’s job is only to “explain how and why”, and not to make value judgments.
I disagree. History must evaluate if it is to fulfil its main purpose: informing the present. Moreover, though objectivity might be adopted as a pose, it is humanly impossible when discussing anything of real importance.
As EH Carr said, every worthwhile historian has a bee in his or her bonnet, and the use of language forbids neutrality. Professor Evans illustrates this point very well by his impassioned condemnation of the fighting of the First World War.
Paul Cunningham, South Korea
We reward the Letter of the Month writer with one of our Books of the Year, The Indian Empire at War by George Morton-Jack. Read more on page 68.