Sunday, July 09, 2006

The future's in the past

A speech by Stephen Fry ostensibly on the topic of why history matters, but more directly about how it can begin to matter (to a broader audience) by personalizing it--by encouraging people "to enter imaginatively the lives of our ancestors."
History is not the story of strangers, aliens from another realm; it is the story of us had we been born a little earlier. History is memory; we have to remember what it is like to be a Roman, or a Jacobite or a Chartist or even - if we dare, and we should dare - a Nazi. History is not abstraction, it is the enemy of abstraction.

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