The first response to an act of vandalism is to try to repair the vandalism. However, reversing or repairing an act of vandalism is only one response. An equally valid and common response is a new understanding of the past, a new narrative history, and an integration of the vandalism into the process of historiography. There exists a complementary relationship between vandalism and historical narrative that reminds us that our understanding of the past will always be partial. For the historian, vandalism, when it occurs, is not necessarily an impediment to history writing. Nor is it an irritation to be somehow expunged. Rather, the vandal and the historian are linked, and the vandal, wittingly or not, is an integral part of the process of writing history.


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pp. 6-27
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