;


Privatizing History

Roundup




Patrick Stephenson was a speechwriter for the NATO Secretary General from 2011 to early 2015.

Not long ago, I asked a 16-year-old cousin if she liked studying history in high school. "I don't do history," she replied with a shrug.

She's not atypical. Many of our young people are ignorant of basic historical facts - as in, they don't know who won the Civil War. And they don't seem to care too much about that.

But I wonder: so what, if our kids know little about the past? Does history really matter anymore? 

The answer isn't so obvious.

I just spent a week in Murcia, Spain, watching the beautiful processions of the Semana Santa. Here, history covers the city like the layers of a cake and Spaniards savor every layer, old and new. The same person who gives you a history lesson about Isabel and Ferdinand can also make a passionate argument why Django Unchained is a better film than 12 Years a Slave.

But a keen sense of history can also be a weapon, as Europeans know all too well. German grievances over the humiliations of Versailles gave the Nazi Party a loud drum to beat. 

Young Americans don't have that problem. It's hard to have historical grievances if you don't know any history. ...

Read entire article at Huffington Post


comments powered by Disqus