This post first appeared at mountainrunner.substack.com on 12 January 2022. It appears here with some edits for clarity. Be sure to check there for comments on the article and subscribe to my substack for timely follow-ups and new posts through the substack app, through email, and to participate in chats. It’s free!
Have you ever read a statement of fact by a historian and wondered, “huh, that’s interesting”? Hopefully, you have and will continue to do so often. History is great. However, I get frustrated when I see historians or writers reciting history who roll with the accepted or received facts and fail to dig deeper. Narratives around the Smith-Mundt Act’s origin, and to a lesser degree its evolution, are packed with many unfounded facts contradicted by the historical record, for example. Some are minor, but some are significant. I’ve discussed some of these elsewhere, and eventually, a comprehensive discussion will be available with significant details (and receipts).Continue reading “Sometimes the commonly accepted fact is not a fact “