Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Quote of the Day (William McNeill, on ‘The Principal Reason for Studying the Past’)



“Reading, writing, and teaching history contributes more than most other intellectual disciplines to the unending evolution of ideas and ideals whereby people seek to regulate their public conduct. Indeed, the principal reason for studying the past is that it promotes the formulation and reformulation of useful myths about the conduct of public affairs, creates and confirms public identities, and offers models of behavior for leaders and followers alike that help to guide us through present perplexities.”— Canadian-American historian William H. McNeill (1917-2016), “Make Mine Myth,” The New York Times, Dec. 28, 1981

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