Kahn, Andrew & Rebecca Onion: Is history written by men, about men?

Kahn, Andrew & Rebecca Onion

Is history written by men, about men?Slate, 6 January 2016

We examined a set of 614 works of popular history from 80 houses, which either published books we defined as trade history or landed books we defined as trade history on the New York Times Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction best-seller list in 2015. (For our full methodology, click here.) We found that 75.8 percent of the total titles had male authors.

There’s much more in this detailed article but note this particularly: ‘Thirty-two percent of books in the pool met one of our criteria for being what we dubbed an “uncle book”: about a president, the founding era, the Civil War, World War II, Abraham Lincoln, or royalty’.

Uncle books are ‘tomes that you give an older male relative, to take up residence by his wingback armchair’. Books about World War II are big in the US; one gets the impression that any war will do in Australia. Someone should do a similar survey for Australia.

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