Historians as “Columbos of Our Cultural Life”

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Paul Croce is Professor of History and American Studies at Stetson University.  In his recent piece at Huffington Post he compares historians to Peter Falk’s famous television character Columbo.

Here is a taste:

Historians can become like the Columbos of our public life. In Peter Falk’s memorable role as the private investigator Lieutenant Frank Columbo, he would solve crimes by getting to know the suspects. In the same way, historians let us get to know the producers and consumers of fake news, and the whole array of characters, from heroes to villains, in our cultural dramas. That understanding of how we think and feel can help all citizens be better judges of the worlds around them.

Read the entire piece here.  Believe it or not, this piece begins with some thoughts about U.S. intellectual historians Thomas Haskell and James Kloppenberg.