The Uses of History

For almost all important social and political issues, a view of the past is essential, and the most powerful analyses of issues requires a historical framework that reflects all the complexity and ambiguity of the past.
Yet, for most people, it seems that their concept of history settled into a fixed evaluation (usually a negative one) based on a class taken long before college. Every time someone asks me what I teach, I brace for their inevitable reaction. They usually tell me something like, ?I was horrible at history,? or, ?I hated history.? Since these tend to be new acquaintances I have no knowledge of their lives, but I am probably correct 90% of the time when I respond in turn, ?You had the wrong history teacher.? —John SpurlockThe Uses of History (The Blue Monkey Review)

John has announced his New Year’s Resolution to post something on his site every week. “If you are out there and read this,” he says, “add grit to my resolve by sending along your comments. “