A few years ago historian John Lukacs spoke on the campus of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. While there Lukacs was interviewed by ENC professors Donald Yerxa and Karl Giberson. That full interview was featured in an issue of Books & Culture. Here's the section of the interview in which Lukacs talked about language:
Language is a very mysterious gift from God. In the beginning was the Word. Not the Fact. Not the Picture. Not the Number. Not the Image. It is through words that we relate to each other. It is through words that we can give pain or pleasure to each other. And because of this - and every historian worth his salt ought to know this - the choice of the word is not only a matter of accuracy, not only an aesthetic choice, it is a moral choice.
Perhaps best known for his book Historical Consciousness: Or, the Remembered Past, John Lukacs has ranged far and wide as an historian. His two most recent books are A Thread of Years, a series of imaginative vignettes of everyday life in the twentieth century and Five Days in London, May 1940, focused on Churchill and his cabinet.
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Updated: February 17, 2019