reinterpretation of historical events
In historiography, the term historical revisionism identifies the re-interpretation of a historical account.
It usually involves challenging the orthodox (established, accepted or traditional) views held by professional scholars about an historical event or time-span or phenomenon, introducing contrary evidence, or reinterpreting the motivations and decisions of the people involved. The revision of the historical record can reflect new discoveries of fact, evidence, and interpretation, which then results in revised history. In dramatic cases, revisionism involves a reversal of older moral judgments.
At a basic level, legitimate historical revisionism is a common and not especially controversial process of developing and refining the writing of histories. Much more controversial is the reversal of moral findings, whereby what mainstream historians had considered (for example) positive forces are depicted as negative. Such revisionism, if challenged (especially in heated terms) by the supporters of the previous view, can become an illegitimate form of historical revisionism known as historical negationism if it involves inappropriate methods such as:
the use of forged documents or implausible distrust of genuine documents
attributing false conclusions to books and sources
manipulating statistical data
deliberately mis-translating textsThis type of historical revisionism can present a re-interpretation of the moral meaning of the historical record.
Negationists use the term "revisionism" to portray their efforts as legitimate historical inquiry. This is especially the case when "revisionism" relates to Holocaust denial.
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