Who inspired me to create letslookagain.com?
Early on I was inspired by a number of individuals who regularly challenged the “established consensus”. These included popular intellectuals such as Malcolm Gladwell (born 1963) , Adam Curtis (born 1955), Niall Ferguson (born 1964) and Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011). These figures encouraged me to examine the historical data for myself. Whist not always agreeing with their conclusions, they demonstrated that the historical narrative was open to challenge and question, and that such examination could be written in a lively and engaging way.
I appreciated how Gladwell utilised a kind of academic vigour whilst maintaining a delectable readability. Curtis demonstrated how interesting archival blogging can be. Ferguson and Hitchens constantly challenged consensus.
I was greatly inspired by the brewing historians Martyn Cornell and Ron Pattinson. Through their excellent blogs they have highlighted how much of history, even published academic history, is demonstrably wrong or incorrect. Often sloppy half truths are repeated confidently as fact.
Websites such as Wikipedia and Grace’s Guides were also influential as they demonstrated just how useful this kind of website can be, but also highlighted how there was a large gap of high quality research coverage of all sorts of areas.
In terms of business historians, there are lots of good ones, but I particularly admire Geoffrey Jones.
I hope this meta post has been helpful!