The Uses of History in the Twenty First Century

Historian article

By Marjorie Reeves, published 31st May 2002

What is the place of History in English National Life today, and do historians have a public role in the future?

During the last century or so there has developed a new ‘public role’ for history: the past as personal history, a vital element in the nourishing of people in society. During the past decades a new perception of what history is has manifested itself on two levels: first a shift of focus from the political to the personal in the subjects historians write about; secondly, the way in which an avid public has appropriated what a contemporary journalist, Boyd Tonkins, calls ‘the most nourishing diet of all – history’...

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