Cohen’s Last Chapter

: How do Cohen’s last chapters of the book, in Part 3 “The Boxers as Myth,” answer different kinds of historical questions than those Part 1 (“Boxers as Event”) and Part 2 (“Boxers as Experience”)? What do these chapters reveal about how history itself is constructed? What questions might they raise for our own process of writing history?


  • Cohen discusses how important it is to take into account events as well as experiences.
  • How did certain events affect a movement?
  • How did the experiences of those involved play into the event?


  • Cohen mainly focuses on mythologizers.
  • Discusses what kind of mythologizers there are.
  • Covers how they use their work, often trying to mislead and leave out information.
  • Discusses why their work is wrong.
  • Cohen warns us to be careful and to make sure we know where our sources are coming from and to make sure we have an open mind.  It is important to leave ones feelings behind as well.

When it comes to constructing history, historians today should take into account all sources, and we have many of them to work from. It is important to make sure we use them all, because it is our job to bring the facts from the past to the present. We are able to bring forth an event and give readers a clear or better understanding on why things happened in the past, and are these events something we can learn from and most importantly, is this something worth repeating? After reading this book, I will now always ask myself am I using enough sources? Am I approaching this subject with an open mind? Do I have any pre-conceived notions on a topic? If so what are they and why? My final question would be am I presenting an honest, and direct piece of work that will inform, educate, and enlighten my readers?


Leave a Reply