Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Agrégation 2021 James Cook post 62: Cook: bravery or imperialism?


James Cook, brave hero of the enlightenment, or harbinger of massacre and tragedy for great peoples ? The debate is carried on today, around the 250th anniversary of Cook’s expeditions. It is crucial to understand this disagreement and to reflect on why it gives rise to such high levels of anger. Here is a very recent defence of the pure hero story, from Australian television :



This very recent programme serves to remind us that there is no consensus (and there may not be for many many years) about the role of James Cook in history. The conflict of interpretations is probably "hotter" today than it has ever been.

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