Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

A Short History of the World

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

A Short History of the World

Article excerpt

A Short History of the World Geoffrey Blainey Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 2002

Numerous reasons have been given as justification for the study of history, but perhaps the most powerful is that no people without a sense of history have ever developed a culture that has enriched mankind. History serves as a guide, rather as a man lost in the desert is able to look back at his own footsteps and have at least some confidence that he is not walking in circles. Deprive him of any knowledge whence he has come, and the direction of his travels, and he will be disoriented, with no sense of purpose - he will be truly lost.

Unfortunately history is very poorly taught today. In Britain, the emphasis is very much on the history of the past hundred years, as though what went before that was meaningless. At the university level it tends also to become too specialized, and worse still there is a current belief that all men and all cultures are essentially the same, so that there is no need to study the sublime sweep of human history. …

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