David Irving: A Brief Profile

David Irving is one of the most controversial modern historians.  Born in Britain in 1938, Irving has written many books about the Second World War and its leaders.  For example, he has written detailed accounts of Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Goebbels, etc.  In his books, he focussed on the military aspects of the war.  But he created many controversies by associating himself with extreme Right-wing ideology.  Even in his accounts of Second World War, there is a bias toward Hitler, his antisemitism and military aggression.  Since Britain suffered both in terms of human and economic costs during the war, he hurt the feelings of his own people by showing sympathy to Hitler.

Since he began to writer about the Second World War during the 1970s and 1980s, he is considered as a revisionist historian.  This is because plenty of books have already been published by the time he took up these projects.  Other scholars have taken objection to his work for its inaccuracy and falsity and have made lawsuits against him.  In some of his works, he tries to suggest that the killing of millions of European Jews (called the holocaust) had never actually occured.  This is such an absurd proposition that it discredited his value as a historian.  Reputed historian Ian Kershaw has criticized Irving for ‘provoking’ mainstream historians with inaccurate claims about the holocaust.  When Irving made a lawsuit against Deborah Lipstadt, the jury turned down his case.  Today, David Irving remains an isolated figure among British historians.  Many don’t take his works seriously at all, for they believe that he writes with a self-serving bias.  But at the beginning of his career as a writer, Irving was seen to possess great potential.  But on recent evidence, that potential seems to have been misused.

Work Cited:

David Irving from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, retrieved on 16th December, 2010