Can we become historian and make a doctorate in history without doing history studies but only by being passionated by history and learning a lot about it?

Can we become historian and make a doctorate in history without doing history studies but only by being passionated by history and learning a lot about it ?

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Great question, but the answere is no.

@gerhard-w-koester Ah… Cause I want to do medical doctor but at the same time I love history at the same time and want to come with something ( doctorate ), is there a way to conciliate between the two ?


Ich glaube nicht, dass es eine großartige Frage war…

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Anyone can call themselves a historian and loving history and being knowledgeable is great but it doesn’t make you a historian in the professional sense.

Talking and loving history is way different than the research and effort that goes into making a history which can stand up to the rigors of review and examination by other historians. Think of works on history that you respect. The amount of research into primary sources of history having to confirm your facts.

I love history, read it and discuss it. Anything I say would never be compared to say the works of David Glantz. I feel I can appreciate the difference. It’s like saying I enjoy golf but no one would ever confuse my golf game with Tiger woods.

Enjoy history, but if you want to be a true historian, realize like any career, the devil is in the details and way more complex than just doing it for fun.


Lots of people have multiple degrees. Maybe you can concentrate on one first, I suggest the one which gives the best chance for a well paying job and do a sequential degree. ( eg history).

Learning history is also learning research methods and these partly overlap with other fields so history is useful anyway.

Also eg Greg’s airplanes and automobiles and the Chieftain have done some excellent historical work by revisiting source data and combining it with their knowledge in other fields. Gregg who is a pilot and can fly Warbirds used the P-47 manuals to prove that this plane could fly escort to Berlin. While most historians looked for quotes his knowledge of Aeodynamics and pilot training allows him to do original research. This stuff is not easy to learn, well it took me a lot of time to get it.

Finally a Doctorate is no guarantee against producing populistic trash in an attractive package. Like the Sophie Scholl Instagram series :face_with_raised_eyebrow:which might have had good intentions but is trash factwise by a German “Doctor” who is in effect ignoring the horrors of the Eastern front​:lying_face:. She should know better, intentionally lying about the Scholl facts is dangerous verharmlosung with tax money. It also an insult to young people who are mostly interested in the truth like non-young people, the overwhelming majority can handle the truth. In German btw with Bohmermann a comedian and moral guard dog :dog2: assessing this fantasyversion of the brave Sophie Scholl Gut gemeint, schlecht umgesetzt: Das Problem mit deutscher Erinnerungskultur | ZDF Magazin Royale - YouTube




Ah I see… The institutions giving doctorate should really change some of their criteria…

It’s really a good idea you’ve just gave me here, do a job and use my skills and my knowlege in this field for research in History, thats a great idea ! I will think about what I can do in history with the jobs I want to do.

Thanks for the idea !


Thanks for the link,
You and chewbacca gave me a good idea, I see the point now
Thanks !


Ah I see… so I should do searches in history to become historian in the professionnal sense… I think that the Idea that gave me Chewbacca and Gerhard is good, I can do searches in history linked with the job I do.

Thanks for the answer !


And their methods as well. One of the main reasons why history is seen as a boring subject is because of horribly stale presentations of history by professors who don’t know that better. On the flip side, one shouldn’t make it too entertaining (or sometimes condescending, like with certain YouTube historians) either. :joy:


I recall a discussion on whether Tik was a historian. I think even he said he was not and I tend to agree. I do like his work though but it would probably not stand up to professional review. At least he does an excellent job of giving us his sources. Many channels do not.

I would argue that both Greg and Chieftain are in their areas very good historians in that I respect the amount of research they do goes beyond what I normally see in any channel. It helps that they do this professionally as well. And they both are quite entertaining.

As for teaching history being boring well that really depends on the quality of the teacher. The World War One museum brings in lots of guests speakers who are all historians. It becomes easy to spot the really good ones and the not so good ones. Doesn’t mean they are bad historians just not good at the relating history to their audience.


I wonder who that could be.

True true. I used to hate history in school because well… the teacher didn’t teach that well (and one teacher didn’t know the difference between Prussia and Russia (i wish I was making that up) and more emphasis was given on learning the events, dates instead of the reasons why it happened. I used to have kerfuffles with my parents almost on a daily basis asking them what was the point of learning, why Brutus betrayed Caesar, if I could not see the ramifications of it in Modern times.

So… when COD (yes… Call of duty… The OG ones and not the “Do you speak Japanese” CODs) invoked my interest in ww2 and I actively began seeking information about WW2, my parents were pretty surprised to say the least.

Now to be fair to the teachers… well… they get paid pretty less despite having tremendous amount of work, so it seems natural that they would teach in a drone,monotonous way and take absolutely no interest in teaching and read the points off PPTs, word for word.


Folks like John Green, Atun-Shei and Cynical Historian, and plenty more. :wink:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Goddamn it Vanguard!


Thats exact ! In high school History seems very boring, for example when we stuided totalitarian regimes I was expecting us to talk about propaganda, goebbels, militarisation, camps, goulag, deportation, nkvd, officier purge in russia and stuff like that but instead we only focused on the study of some documents that I found not veery relevant, questions like give the title, the source, what does it says…

Same for ww2 we did all the chapter about ww2 in 1h30, we talked a lot about the post war and consequences but we only talked one minute about operation babarossa ! So that when I had to do a presentation, I chose to talk about operation barbarossa, it took me just 30 min and he got mad at me because he said I " talked to much " :joy::joy:( just the time to say who was Barbarossa, present AGN AGC AGS, their commanders and their main objectives) …
So yes I really think the teaching methods also need a reform so that it makes students love history, cause it’s really not the school that made me love it nor it made any of my comrades loving in too …


:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::dizzy_face::dizzy_face::dizzy_face: really !?


I must be lucky because i have always loved history. In defense of historians let’s not absolve the students of guilt either. You pay money to learn what these gentle people know. If you aren’t getting it it is incumbent on you to push respectfully to get them to give you their knowledge.

By the 4th grade I had found William L Shrirers history of the Second World War. Much abrevriated version. 300 page of world war 2. Fascinating but a story not history. It took me a while to learn the difference. Honest to God, the second book I read was Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian. I thought he was the best coolest general,of World war 2. Another important lesson to learn of the difference between history and memoirs. He has let me down much since then as I grew up.

None of that deadens my love of history of all kinds you just learn to discern truth better. People hate Wikipedia. I love it for one reason. Go straight to the footnotes and try to find real sources. They are occasionally there.

I will never be a historian but in college I took more history courses than computer courses which was my major.

I admire anyone who brings passion to what they do. This is true of all walks of life, except politicians.

Sorry for the autobiography, forgive me as I am old.


More reasons, is if you need basic information about topics it is very helpfull. But wikipedia is under constant attack by well paid or just fanatical people and only defended by volunteers. I check always English and German pages, to avoid beeing misdirected…


Hallo Julian,
Dr. Raths ist jemand dem ich gerne zuhöre. Das Panzermuseeum hat leider zuwenig Förderung für eine englische Videoproduktion. Aber erstmal die Buchempfehlungen von Dr. Raths:

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Mmm… that is not very good.

One tip before becoming a working historian, I think it is also important to find out if one would really like the job.

This can be different anywhere:
1 In a university teachers often are also under pressure to publish original research as it helps their ranking. If one loves doing that great but the pressure of students and doing your own research is often felt as high.

2 Writing books is cool too but often a fairly solitary and VERY time consuming activities. Teaming up with other writers might help.

3 Teaching is probably not for everyone, especially at a level where the class might not be interested.

4 Museums want historians but the pay is not very good and often non-existent.

My main point is that some jobs are presented as fantastic but you really have to like it. I started in auditing but hated it. If I found people fraudulent I was quite able to take action but not really if I had to check pointless procedures and got too little time to advice clients to actually improve. (so I moved to a role with more consulting, some said it was stupid moneywise but I didn’t really care). The study was fantastic and I still benefit from it but the job was not for me.

Just another example: If blood makes one faint maybe medical doctor is not the best career choice :wink:

Just my 2 cents feel free to disagree and everyone has to find his/her own path and obviously unexpected things happen in life.