was one of the most influential historians to come out of the New Left generation. A founding member of the History Workshop Journal
which pioneered the "history from below" approach to historical scholarship, Samuel's work helped to democratise and move historical scholarship of the confines of the academy. His major work, Theatres of Memory,
sought to celebrate the "unnofficial knowledge" that formed from popular conceptions of the past and present against the pretension of the professional historians.
As Samuel himself wrote, this approach was motivated by "the belief that history is or ought to be a collaborative enterprise, one in which the researcher, the archivist, the curator and the teacher, the 'do-it-yourself' enthusiast and the local historian, the family history societies and the individual archaeologist, should all be regarded as equally engaged."
National commemorations of major historical events usually offer an incredible opportunity for the Right to showcase its jingoistic logorrhea about national identity and patriotism. Starting this coming August, the First World War centenary will most likely be no exception.
The Conservatives are battling on two different, though not unrelated, fronts. Contrary to what Max Hastings argues, it is the Right indeed who is “making an ideological argument out of World War I, as it does out of almost everything else in history.”
In a Telegraph article, David Cameron puts particular emphasis on commemorating, and even celebrating the break-out of World War I as a moment of national unity and cohesion, “a fundamental part of our national consciousness.”