History Lessons

Michael Howard, The Lessons of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991).

Issue: Fall 1991

Michael Howard, The Lessons of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991).  248 pp., $27.50.

Paul Kennedy, ed., Grand Strategies in War and Peace (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991).  224 pp., $25.00.

It is not easy to learn from the past.  This is a fact that historians, at least when they assume the overt role of educators, are inclined to keep to themselves.  Given two or three hours a week to polish up the historical consciousness of their students, even the most circumspect professionals are unlikely to emphasize the enormous concentration their discipline requires, or to admit that a lifetime of study can yield insights whose instrumental value may seem limited compared to those claimed by the social and natural sciences.

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