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"Storytelling is a learned skill" 

While we’re at CJR, I also loved this story on the blurring differences between journalists and historians. At a conference last week (more on this later), the moderator asked me how I would like to be introduced.

"Are you an independent scholar?"

I responded, "How about: freelance journalist."

I feel that I'm approaching a historical problem as a journalist: asking questions. Curiosity leads me from one topic to another, and one expert to another. Some academics have criticized my lack of immersion in either history or literary theory, and I understand their fear that I'll be too superficial.

But if I can study enough (and I sure am trying!) to avoid that, I hope to be following the lead of Nicholas Lemann, telling history as story first, argument later.

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