Benny Morris offers a hopelessly out of date view if history in the latest issue of The New Republic [subscription required]. In his review of A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples By Ilan Pappe, Morris states the following:
[W]e approached history, and the writing of history, from antithetical standpoints. Pappe regarded history through the prism of contemporary politics and consciously wrote history with an eye to serving political ends. My own view was that while historians, as citizens, had political views and aims, their scholarly task was to try to arrive at the truth about a historical event or process, to illuminate the past as objectively and accurately as possible. I believed, and still believe, that there is such a thing as historical truth; that it exists independently of, and can be detached from, the subjectivities of scholars; that it is the historian’s duty to try to reach it by using as many and as varied sources as he can. When writing history, the historian should ignore contemporary politics and struggle against his political inclinations as he tries to penetrate the murk of the past.
How is this guy still writing books?! What a naive and old fashioned concept!
Seriously though (the above was sarcasm in case you missed it), you have no idea how it warms my heart to see someone write that out in a review; to admit it in public proudly and with assurance. Almost makes me want to return to grad school.