Ready or not, here comes a tough question. If scholars are not writing history for the common folk – who is? The answer may include some uncomfortable responses: especially if it includes policy-making think tanks.

Which is why, every now and then, historians must raise their heads from the shadow of their research to realize that there are such things such as sunlight, poetry, and the opinions of other disciplinarians: and life!

Professor Adam Hocschild, author of such books such as "King Leopold's Ghost."

I believe I am a pure inter-disciplinarian. But I also think History began that way. My historiography gives away that dirty little secret. Only recently (like in the past century or so – give or take fifty years) has History been narrowed to what the folks in the Ivory Tower say it is and shed itself of things that it no longer wanted to be bothered with – which is why we have new disciplines such as Women’s Studies, Political Science, African American Studies, and so on at universities everywhere.

To make my point ever more clear, I am asking you to follow this link entitled “Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, Part I.” It is written by Adam Hochschild, Cal Berkeley Professor of Journalism, and investigates something Dr. Livingston and I often discussed; Historical scholastic elitism versus getting History out to the common folk (the article appears in the Nieman Storyboard – a project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University).

If there is ever a link you should click on to better understand what is at stake, it’s this one. Note: pull up a cup of coffee and allow yourself fifteen to twenty minutes to gain such a perspective. Hochschild articulated painstakingly the words that have eluded me for years. He names names, and that is a good thing.