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With the increasing professionalism of public history as a field and discipline, many questions have emerged as to how aspiring practitioners should be trained.

Benjamin Filene examines what makes the field of public history unique and the skills necessary to be a successful public historian.

He emphasizes the need for public history to be as rigorous a field as history and training in an educational setting should reflect this.

However, he warns that the rigor and seriousness of academic history can threaten public history as a field when professionals begin to forget the public they are serving.

His article is provocative and presents many considerations the field should be aware of as public history continues to professionalize and more graduate programs come into existence.