Christensen C.S. Pseudohistory or pseudoscience and appropriating history in the 21st century: the dangers, the meanings, the influence and the communication of history

One of the most important developments in the production of history in the early 21st century has been the capacity of pseudoscience to have a large impact on the public sphere. Pseudohistory and pseudoscience mimic professional history in the way that it presents itself to the public, but the proposed arguments defy any reasonable assessment of the evidence. In this article we examine the phenomenon of pseudohistory or pseudoscience through a consideration of its origins in a traveller’s tale “1421 – the year China discovered the World” by Gavin Menzies; through a description about ancient astronauts and their influence on antique technologies and on building of pyramids in “Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved mysteries of the past” by the Swiss Erich von Däniken and Holocaust denials and anti-Semitic pseudohistory / history falsification in the book “Hitler’s War” by David Irving. One can eventually attribute pseudohistorians popular success to their capacity to appeal to both democratic principles and nationalism, and to make effective use of new media, especially the Internet.