Employing Historical Distance

In both The Beatles and the Historians, as well as various podcast interviews, I’ve mentioned the concept of historical distance: the passage of time which allows for more objective analysis of an event of individual. One of the elements of historical distance which, incidentally, can but does not automatically ensure revising or reevaluating history, is the willingness of authors to re-evaluate their own work. As I’ve mentioned in previous interviews, this was an understood element among the first historians of the First World War: intelligent enough and politically savvy enough to understand that there were documents and sources unavailable to them, the first wave of French historians of the Great War made a conscious effort to accept new evidence as it became available, and adjust their interpretations accordingly.

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New Podcast Interview: SATB and the Two Great Debates


Thanks to everyone who has continued to read, comment and follow this blog, even during its baby-influenced hiatus. For those who have only recently discovered the blog and wish to comment on old threads, please feel free to do so: Karen or I will see your comments and do our best to respond to them. While I am still taking a break, for the time being, from writing book reviews, I have managed to do several podcast interviews over the last few months.

For those of you who are interested, here is my most recent interview, with SATB’s Robert Rodriguez, discussing the two major debates in Beatles historiography:

If you’d like to offer thoughts and discussion on the podcast and/or the subjects discussed, feel free. We look forward to hearing from you.

(And, to give credit where credit is due, thanks to my parents, who babysat for approximately 3 hours so I could manage to do this interview with Robert).


John, Paul, And Maternal Loss: An Exploration

–by Karen Hooper

Over the past 30 years, there has been a growing body of research demonstrating how maternal loss psychologically impacts children and can shape their relationship patterns later in life. Historians agree that the deaths of Julia Lennon and Mary McCartney were among the most tragic and significant events in their sons’ lives, and that the loss of their mothers changed both John Lennon and Paul McCartney in fundamental ways. The purpose of this discussion is to review the anecdotal evidence about John and Paul’s experience of maternal loss within the context of this research. Continue reading

The Beatles And Their Cultural Impact On Gender

~by Karen Hooper

Although the 1960’s was a time of tremendous social change, the social mores of previous decades remained largely entrenched.  Up until the 1970’s, gender- and race-based discrimination was largely accepted, while outdated, draconian laws still governed sexual behaviour, particularly among gay persons.   In ways still not fully understood, The Beatles heralded a sea change in our social and cultural attitudes, while their specific impact upon our understanding of gender–what it means to be a man or a woman– cannot be overstated.

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