Ed Jonker, Treading carefully. Writing official history with an uneasy conscience The recent debate on cultural and political identity has placed historians in an awkward position. On the one hand they are aware that the track record of official histories, expressed in historical canons, is upsetting. Historical canons, especially nationalist icones, have obviously done a lot of damage. On the otherhand, many historians understand the current need for historical identity. Confronted with this dilemma they try to solve it by setting themselves standards for writing decent canons. Ideally, these combine critical enquiry, political utility and moral principles. How have Dutch historians fared in trying to square this circle? A first inspection of recently published literature on Dutch identity yields mixed results.
This article is part of the forum 'Debat over de zin of onzin van een nationale canon'.