The Uses And Abuses Of History

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The Uses And Abuses Of History

by Margaret Macmillan

Penguin Group Canada | April 15, 2008 | Hardcover

The Uses And Abuses Of History is rated 4 out of 5 by 4.

History is useful when it is used properly: to understand why we and those we must deal with think and react in certain ways. It can offer examples to inform our decisions and guesses about the consequences of our actions. But we should be wary of looking to history for dogmatic lessons.We should distrust those who abuse history when they call on it to justify unreasonable claims to land, for example, or restitution. MacMillan illustrates how dangerous history can be in the hands of nationalistic or religious or ethnic leaders who use it to foster a sense of grievance and a desire for revenge.


 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8.75 × 5.75 × 0.85 in

Published: April 15, 2008

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 067006680X

ISBN - 13: 9780670066803

Found in: History

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Buy it now! This is MacMillan at her best! A very short yet good read. Anyone who is interested in history must have this book.
Date published: 2011-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from History Students I would recommend this book to any history student. MacMillan discusses the basic question which we all ask ourselves as students of history (Why should we study it, what good use is it, etc.) The book is suprisingly short and easy to read, however, occasionally the answers she gives to such questions become lost in her evidence. Her evidence includes, and tends to focus on, the Middle East and China rather than on Canadian or European trends in history, but when she does use Canada as an example it is poignant and stands out.
Date published: 2008-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from History Lessons Based on a series of University lectures from Historian Margaret MacMillan, "The Uses and Abuses of History" is a brief synopsis of the current trends in historiography, both good and bad. In particular, MacMillan is concerned about the "abuse" of history for nationalistic purposes. The dangers of revisionism through selective emphasis and narrow interpretations which according to MacMillan have been used by demagogue leaders to further their jingoistic agendas. On the positive side, MacMillan discusses the recent popularity of genealogies in this increasingly post-modern society that we live in. Again, however, MacMillan cautions us about the tendency to narcissism without seeing the bigger picture. MacMillan's writing is clear and easy to follow. Overall, this is a great book for the average reader to understand a little more about historiography and the challenges the contemporary professional Historian faces.
Date published: 2008-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good read. MacMillan explores what the title says but doesn't devote the book to specific case study as much as I'd hoped. Though she uses many examples from history the book is a little redundant but offers good advice. If anything it helps you become more critical of how people refer to history.
Date published: 2008-07-26

– More About This Product –

The Uses And Abuses Of History

by Margaret Macmillan

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 208 pages, 8.75 × 5.75 × 0.85 in

Published: April 15, 2008

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 067006680X

ISBN - 13: 9780670066803

From the Publisher

History is useful when it is used properly: to understand why we and those we must deal with think and react in certain ways. It can offer examples to inform our decisions and guesses about the consequences of our actions. But we should be wary of looking to history for dogmatic lessons.We should distrust those who abuse history when they call on it to justify unreasonable claims to land, for example, or restitution. MacMillan illustrates how dangerous history can be in the hands of nationalistic or religious or ethnic leaders who use it to foster a sense of grievance and a desire for revenge.


 

About the Author

Margaret MacMillan is the author of the bestselling Paris 1919. She is a member of the Order of Canada, past provost of Trinity College, and current warden of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University.

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