“Dear diary…”

Admirers of Tony Benn (whose five questions to the powerful I invoked earlier this week) should check out today’s column by Craig Brown, which examines two contrasting diary accounts of the Industrial Development cabinet committee on Friday June 28, 1974: one from Tony Benn, and one from Bernard Donoughue (the head of Harold Wilson’s Policy Unit at the time).

Sample quote from Benn: “It was the most fascinating discussion and I went away feeling, in a way, that it had been a success…”

Sample quote from Donoghue: “Afterwards Robert Armstrong said that he had never seen a minister so mauled by colleagues. Yet Benn seemed unabashed…”

Hilarious and illuminating: as Brown points out, “But for the same date at the top of each entry, it would be hard to tell the two diarists were describing the same event”.

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8 Responses to “Dear diary…”

  1. Atwood says:

    John, I followed the link but there was nothing there.
    I am really interested in this because as a historian, yes, I have often had a sneaking suspicion that this is true, that such and such big meeting will appear one way or another depending on whose notes happen to get archived. Especially in researching deep-cover organizations (like Communist-style parties before they come to power) you rarely get two bites at the apple.
    Sasse’s study of the Marburg Colloquy (“This is My Body”) is fascinating not just from a theological/historical point of view, but also as an example of how many notes and memoirs of how many participants needed to be collated to get an accurate picture of the proceedings.

  2. Atwood says:

    John, I followed the link but there was nothing there.
    I am really interested in this because as a historian, yes, I have often had a sneaking suspicion that this is true, that such and such big meeting will appear one way or another depending on whose notes happen to get archived. Especially in researching deep-cover organizations (like Communist-style parties before they come to power) you rarely get two bites at the apple.
    Sasse’s study of the Marburg Colloquy (“This is My Body”) is fascinating not just from a theological/historical point of view, but also as an example of how many notes and memoirs of how many participants needed to be collated to get an accurate picture of the proceedings.

  3. Atwood says:

    John, I followed the link but there was nothing there.
    I am really interested in this because as a historian, yes, I have often had a sneaking suspicion that this is true, that such and such big meeting will appear one way or another depending on whose notes happen to get archived. Especially in researching deep-cover organizations (like Communist-style parties before they come to power) you rarely get two bites at the apple.
    Sasse’s study of the Marburg Colloquy (“This is My Body”) is fascinating not just from a theological/historical point of view, but also as an example of how many notes and memoirs of how many participants needed to be collated to get an accurate picture of the proceedings.

  4. Atwood says:

    John, I followed the link but there was nothing there.
    I am really interested in this because as a historian, yes, I have often had a sneaking suspicion that this is true, that such and such big meeting will appear one way or another depending on whose notes happen to get archived. Especially in researching deep-cover organizations (like Communist-style parties before they come to power) you rarely get two bites at the apple.
    Sasse’s study of the Marburg Colloquy (“This is My Body”) is fascinating not just from a theological/historical point of view, but also as an example of how many notes and memoirs of how many participants needed to be collated to get an accurate picture of the proceedings.

  5. John H says:

    The link worked for me just now: you may need to register with the site to read the article.
    Anyway, I’ve just emailed you the text of the article anyway.

  6. John H says:

    The link worked for me just now: you may need to register with the site to read the article.
    Anyway, I’ve just emailed you the text of the article anyway.

  7. John H says:

    The link worked for me just now: you may need to register with the site to read the article.
    Anyway, I’ve just emailed you the text of the article anyway.

  8. John H says:

    The link worked for me just now: you may need to register with the site to read the article.
    Anyway, I’ve just emailed you the text of the article anyway.

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