Theodore Draper contends that his title, though apparently an oxymoron, is meant to indicate the intermediate status of his essays between journalism,
which deals with immediate events, and traditional history, which waits to assess them until they have indisputably acquired an aura of “pastness.” Draper wants to bring both historical perspective and careful documentation from primary sources to bear upon “subjects of the greatest urgency and controversy while they [are] still urgent and controversial.”
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