"Historians, ancient and modern, have always known what postmodernism professes to have just discovered - that any work of history is vulnerable on three counts: the fallibility and deficiency of the historical record on which it is based; the fallibility and selectivity inherent in the writing of history; and the fallibility and subjectivity of the historian." -- Gertrude Himmelfarb, "Postmodernist History and the Flight from Fact" (1994), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 291.
"History will not stay written. Every age demands a history written from its own standpoint - with reference to its own social conditions, its thought, its beliefs and its acquisitions - and thus comprehensible to the men who live in it." -- William Sloane, AHR 1:1, cited by Gertrude Himmelfarb in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 291-292.
"In the common cause of radicalism, structuralists and poststructuralists, new historicists and deconstructionists, have been able to overlook whatever logical incompatibilities there may be between their theories. (This presents no great problem for deconstructionists, who have an infinite tolerance for contradiction and no regard for 'linear' logic.) Like the communists and socialists of an earlier generation, they have formed a 'popular front', marching separately to a common goal." -- Gertrude Himmelfarb, "Postmodernist History and the Flight from Fact" (1994), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 295.
"Under the impact of postmodernist literary approaches, historians are now becoming more aware that their supposedly matter-of-fact choices of narrative techniques and analytical forms also have implications with social and political ramifications. Essays on the state of the discipline often have a canonical form all their own: first a narrative of the rise of new kinds of history, then a long moment for exploring the problems posted by new kinds of history, followed by either a jeremiad on the evils of new practices or a celebration of the potential overcoming of all obstacles. The literary form that the argument takes has a very strong influence on the way that evidence and arguments are presented." -- Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History (1994), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 311.
"Our choices are political, social, and epistemological. They are political and social because they reflect beliefs in a certain kind of community of historians and society of Americans. They are epistemological because they reflect positions on what can be known and how it can be logically known. With diligence and good faith they may also be at moments reasonably, if partially, true accounts of the distant and recent past." -- Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History (1994), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 312.