Political commentator Jenni Russell, in a column in The times published last November compared the story's popularity as a subject for books and television - citing Yuval Noah Harari, Amanda Foreman and The crown - with the decrease in the number of students studying history, both in school and in elementary school.
Russell argues that this decline may be due to the fact that too many scientifically produced books are "specialized, inward-looking, jargon-free, and impenetrable to outsiders." I think she wrongly takes up Diarmaid MacCulloch's recent biography of Thomas Cromwell, which overwhelmed her with "endless details and digressions" on 130 pages. I was surprised that MacCulloch bore the brunt of Russell's criticism because if there is a senior acade...
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