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.