The Uses and Abuses of History


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The past is capricious enough to support every stance - no matter how questionable. In 2002, the Bush administration decided that dealing with Saddam Hussein was like appeasing Hitler or Mussolini, and promptly invaded Iraq. Were they wrong to look to history for guidance? No; their mistake was to exaggerate one of its lessons while suppressing others of equal importance. History is often hijacked through suppression, manipulation, and, sometimes, even outright deception. MacMillan's book is packed full of examples of the ...

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Jan 14, 2016

Always reliable

As it is to be expected, Margaret MacMillan hits the literary bull'seye again with this book about the mistakes we can make by assessing the present by the past.
Her writing is clear, elegant and often leavened with her own wry sense of humour, an invaluable attribute when reading a book on history.


Sep 12, 2013

Interesting analysis of the uses made of history. Originally a series of lectures, it probably was better in that form.

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