Tag: Purpose of The Past

History Nugget #12: April 2019

“The drama, indeed the tragedy, of history comes from our understanding of the tension that existed between the conscience wills and intentions of the participants in the past and the underlying conditions that constrained their actions and shaped their future.”

Wood, Gordon S. The Purpose of The Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008).p.11

History Nugget #11: April 2019

“Rather than trying to understand the past on its own terms, these historians want the past to be immediately relevant and useful; they want to use history to empower people in the present, to help them develop self-identity, or to enable them to break free of that past.”

“In their well-intentioned but often crude efforts to make the past immediately usable, these scholars undermine the integrity and the pastness of the past.”

Gordon S. Wood on many cultural historians from:

Wood, Gordon S. The Purpose of The Past: Reflections on the Uses of History. (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008).p8