History and what it means to us.
People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? Given all the desirable and available branches of knowledge, why insist--as most American educational programs do--on a good bit of history? And why urge many students to study even more history than they are required to?
Any subject of study needs justification: its advocates must explain why it is worth attention. Most widely accepte…
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