The Uses and Abuses of History

Front Cover
Profile Books Limited, 2010 - Decision making - 194 pages
12 Reviews
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 abuses of history. In response, she urges us to treat the past with care and respect.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stephengoldenberg - LibraryThing

This does exactly what it says on the cover, although it's rather more about the abuses and misuses than about the uses. The chief villain of the piece is nationalism/patriotism - the reason why so ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - themulhern - LibraryThing

There isn't all that much to this book, although it has a few good phrases: "... much use of history, but is history much use?" "distinction between a museum and a memorial." The thesis is that ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

MARGARET MacMILLAN is the renowned author of the international bestsellers The War that Ended Peace, Nixon in China and Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War, which won the Duff Cooper Prize, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize, the Samuel Johnson Prize, and the 2003 Governor General's Literary Award in Canada. The past provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, she is now the warden of St. Antony's College at Oxford University.

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