And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened [and] the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”

Revelation ruminates on my experience of bearing witness to so much death.

Like the coroner and the mortality census marshal, the historian is a death watcher. As an historian, I register those who have gone before; I attempt to make meaning and bring order to an aggregation of sad things that happened to other people who are no longer here. In The Dead Them and the Dying Us, I muse on these similarities and their implications for historians.

NEXT: The Dead Them and Dying Us

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eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

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