POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CHARLES MOORE IN THE TELEGRAPH
This is a truly silly review which fails on its own terms.
I haven't read the book, but nothing said here confirms the title of the review.
Indeed, Charles Moore, through his use of parentheses after quotes or assertions only indulges in exactly what he accuses the author of.
If you have a critical point to make you do not need a nudge-nudge, wink, wink.
Histories, even great histories, are full of judgments.
Just read Churchill or Gibbon or Tacitus.
It is always the responsibility of critical readers to examine several books on a subject of interest to get a feel for the variation in assessment of a period or individual.
Just as witnesses at a trial can each give different accounts of something they actually saw, so it is most certainly with history or biography. The “truth” is only ever vaguely indicated in a cloud of doubts and differing assessments, much the way, at the sub-atomic level, the Uncertainty Principle makes it impossible to define at once all the variables of a particle.
I should have thought that fact elementary for anyone claiming to have such a grasp of history that he can call an author “ignorant.”