Saturday, June 09, 2007

History: Looking Back to Look Forward

I am a great believer in studying history in order to learn what works and what doesn't. This applies to government, but also to one's personal life. One book on this topic that I've really enjoyed is The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant (New York: Simon and Schuster ,1968). I have the audio book on CD and have enjoyed listening to not only the book itself, but also to excerpts from interviews with Will and Ariel Durant.

There are any number of books and websites that can give you insight into history and help you learn facts about what happened. Researching widely will give you a better perspective because it is difficult for even the best-intentioned historian to be totally free of bias. The very act of writing history involves sorting through events and people and deciding what to include and what to leave out. A variety of sources will give you a number of perspectives and help you learn enough to reach your own conclusions about what happened and why and how it influenced other events.

Some internet sources:

MacroHistory: Prehistory to the 21st Century
History Research Online
The History Channel

Some books:

America: The Last Best Hope by William J. Bennett (volume 1, volume 2)

Books from Regnery Publishing, including the Politically Incorrect Guides

There are, of course, many others, but these will give you some starting points. As you read and study, think about how the events of the past correspond to today's events and see what lessons you might be able to draw.

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At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Pop said...

And always remember, generally speaking, the winners get to write the history.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Mary A said...

Good point, Pop! :D


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