Because I was a revisionist historian at the age of 16, back in 1958, I am more aware of the development of revisionist history over the years than most people are. The fact that I received a Ph.D. in history designates me as probably the oldest living Ph.D.-holding historian who has always been a revisionist on America’s entry into World War I and World War II.
Revisionist historians are dismissed as conspiracy historians. This is a popular designation. It was dreamed up in 1967 by the Central Intelligence Agency. That, at least, is a good revisionist account of the origins of the phrase. But maybe it is merely a conspiratorial account. In either case, I’m willing to run with it.
As with any fringe group in American society, there are various levels of commitment among those who are in some way associated with a particular revisionist interpretation of history. Some people have read a great deal. They may have written something. They may have a website that deals with these issues. In other words, they are historians by avocation. They are probably not employed as history professors because the historical Guild has been screening out revisionist historians ever since the Rockefeller Foundation put up the money for the Council on Foreign Relations to fund an anti-revisionist version of America’s entry into the war. That was in 1946. I talk about this here.
In the summer of 1963, I was employed by a small think tank with a libertarian outlook: the Center for American Studies. It was a later incarnation of the old William Volker Fund. It no longer exists. The man who occupied the office next to mine was a librarian. He had originally studied to be a historian. He studied under the great revisionist…