But why is the rum gone?

I have to admit that I wasn’t all that surprised by the Last American Pirate hoax. Maybe it’s because I sensed something was fishy by the overly exuberant blog entries, but the existence of such a fascinating topic (previously undiscovered by the plethora of Virginia historians, at that!) seemed suspect from the beginning. Maybe I am just cynical. Nevertheless, it was a good example of how easy it is to lie about the past.

Another thing that the blog made me doubt was the value of blogs detailing an academic research project. I knew several people in college who kept blogs about their undergraduate theses, but any interest I may have had in these blogs was merely because they were authored by my friends. I feel like, for historians in particular, people are already uninterested enough in the final product of your research (the book or article, etc.), so why would anyone want to read your narcissistic (and probably boring) account of how you conducted that research?

One thought on “But why is the rum gone?”

  1. While I agree that a blog might not be the best platform to follow the process of academic research, I do think there is a time and place to keep such an account. Keeping an account of how one conducts research is valuable, especially in the public history field. In fact, Dr. Brady recommended in addition to my project and analytical paper, I write a more reflective piece that documents how I conducted my research. At times it can be difficult to articulate how one actually “does” public history, and a detailed description can be beneficial in that instance.

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