Monday, November 05, 2007

History=the Swiss Army Knife of education

Thought-provoking quote on the value of history. . . .

The problem with history is that there's so much of it: more than enough to cherry-pick for propaganda purposes, too much to grasp comprehensively. The response is often cynicism or indifference: What does it matter whether Gettysburg came before Appomattox, anyway?

My answer is that a well-furnished mind is full of labeled shelves for receiving new knowledge, and the more shelves (i.e., context) you have, the more you'll understand. This includes chronology, as well as biography, philosophy, economics, etc. Or, as one website commentator remarked, history is the Swiss Army knife of education—relatively easy to acquire, endlessly handy for all disciplines. --Janie B. Cheaney

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