Pseudo history/weird history: nationalism and the Internet
One of the most important developments in the production of history in the early twenty-first century has been the capacity of ‘weird history’ or ‘pseudo history’ to have a large impact on the public sphere. Pseudo history mimics professional history in the way that it presents itself to the public but its arguments defy any reasonable assessment of the evidence. In this paper, we examine the phenomenon of pseudo history through a consideration of its origins in travellers’ tales and its current manifestation with particular reference to two practitioners: Anatolii Fomenko and Gavin Menzies. One can attribute much of their popular success to their capacity to appeal to both democratic principles and nationalism, and to make effective use of new media, especially the internet.