Monday, October 21, 2013

New Review of "Why Study History?"

Thanks to George Wood, a bibliophile, blogger, church leader, and webcast host, for his kind review of Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past.  Here is a taste:

Chapters 6 and 7 showed me how historians—and history-minded citizens—can positively influence civil society. There is an inherent tension between the desire to present the past without ideological blinkers and the desire for history to influence civil society. The way Fea resolves this tension is not by proposing this or that account of history but by emphasizing the virtues of historical consciousness. Studying the past in all its foreignness, seeking to understand it on its own terms and in its own context, draws students of history outside of themselves and their ideological commitments. It is, in other words, a powerful tonic for narcissism.

3 comments:

George P. Wood said...

Thanks for the link, Prof. Fea, and for writing this book! It's excellent, as per usual.

Jimmy Dick said...

I just finished Chapter Six last night and it raised several questions as well as making me think about how things are regarding the deep political divisions of today. I've read several books and many articles on why studying history is important, which is certain is, and so far this chapter in John's book has been the most concise and definitive writing on the subject.

I am going to incorporate some of this chapter into my next semester's American history survey. I would love to assign the whole book, but that is out of my hands.

kevin smith said...
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