David McCullough was one of the quintessential establishment court historians. Like the Bushes, Bundys, and Buckleys, he was a member of Skull and Bones (also known as The Brotherhood of Death) at Yale, where he became a “made man” set for life. He was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. He was the authoritative narrative voice of the Public Broadcasting System’s American Experience series, which is as close to official state-sanctioned history there is. McCullough had been awarded more than 40 honorary degrees.
McCullough, with his clear, resonant voice and reassuring presence personified “history” for millions of Americans much as veteran broadcaster Walter Cronkite personified “news.” It only goes to show you how far a privileged Skull and Bonesman can go if connected. He was in the same elite class as historians Barbara Tuchman, Arthur Schlesinger Jr,, and Margaret Macmillan in terms of career advancement connections due to ancestral ties or political pull of elite establishment institutions.
“Court historians” are the intellectual bodyguards of the State. They shape and defend the “official line” or interpretation on the State’s wars, its presidential regimes, or other key historical events and public policies. As a result they enjoy high esteem and recognition in the mainstream media and academia. As defenders of the status quo they frequently attack and label their critics as “conspiracy theorists,” “revisionists,” “isolationists,” “appeasers,” “anti-intellectuals,” or other boogie men, rather than engage in civil discourse or discussion.
As the late economist/historian Murray N. Rothbard noted:
10:45 pm on August 8, 2022
All States are governed by a ruling class that is a minority of the population, and which subsists as a parasitic and exploitative burden upon the rest of society. Since its rule is exploitative and parasitic, the State must purchase the alliance of a group of “Court Intellectuals,” whose task is to bamboozle the public into accepting and celebrating the rule of its particular State. The Court Intellectuals have their work cut out for them. In exchange for their continuing work of apologetics and bamboozlement, the Court Intellectuals win their place as junior partners in the power, prestige, and loot extracted by the State apparatus from the deluded public. The noble task of Revisionism is to de-bamboozle: to penetrate the fog of lies and deception of the State and its Court Intellectuals, and to present to the public the true history of the motivation, the nature, and the consequences of State activity. By working past the fog of State deception to penetrate to the truth, to the reality behind the false appearances, the Revisionist works to delegitimize, to desanctify, the State in the eyes of the previously deceived public.