Dr. James "Jim" Horton served as a member of the George Washington University faculty from 1977 until his death in 2017. I used several of his book in some of my research, such as, Black Bostonians: Family Life and Community Struggle in the Antebellum North (Holmes and Meier Publishers, New York, 1979, Second edition, 1999) and Free People of Color: Interior Issues in African American Community (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993).
Today, I was reminded by James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, of something that Horton said about revisionism. Grossman used Horton's quotation regarding "revisionism" as a means to initiate a discussion regarding the importance of the words that we choose to use as historians.
As Grossman notes, it is "those revisionist historians" who, in the eyes of many, seem to "invent" facts and "change" narratives to fit ideological or political agendas. One encounters this sort of thing here as well, in some cases. Indeed, one might even suggest that many times those interested in "auto racing history" seem to have issues -- quite serious at times -- with the concept of revisionism. (Goodness gracious, that this sort of thing would happen here, of course...)
At any rate, Grossman offers a quote from Horton that rang a huge bell because although I knew the quotation, I had forgotten who made it: "Revisionism happens because new evidence is available and new questions are asked. Would you go to a heart surgeon who wasn't reading revisionist medicine?"
It is not always "new evidence" that prompts us to begin to rethink and revise how we interpret the past, but "new eyes" looking at the past and asking questions that may lead to other interpretations.