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In 1952 Harry Elmer Barnes wrote a timely article How Nineteen Eighty-Four Trends Threaten American Peace Freedom and Prosperity as the final chapter of the classic revisionist anthology Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace Barnes analyzed George Orwells classic novel as a work of prophecy and sounded the alarm to reverse the 1984 trends prevalent in the America of his day Barnes argued that propagandists and court historians were fashioning a present based on a falsified and inaccurate telling of the past that was designed to meet Establishment desires to participate in world wars IronicallyBarnes article was omitted from the first edition the collection1 Barnes may be best remembered as the author of the generally accepted definition of revisionism Revisionism means nothing more or less than the effort to correct the historical record in the light of a more complete collection of historical facts a more calm political atmosphere and a more objective attitude 2 Barnes had discovered that a more nearly accurate version of the history of the First World War was only possible after the fighting had ended and the emotional excesses had lessened He was unable to predict that similar corrections of Allied propaganda and popularized conceptions of the methods of warfare in the Second World War would meet even sterner resistance Today - half a century after the conclusion of the Second World War - it would be fair to expect a less emotional environment one in which historians researchers and writers were free to examine the actual causes of the war as well as the atrocities committed by both sides in the conflict However those and other topics are more forbidden than ever with the greatest taboo surrounding analysis of the fate of Europes Jews and others in what has come to be known as the Holocaust In 1950 three years prior to Barnes article
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