stiamo tranquilli…

Per una Storia applicata [EN]

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Su suggerimento di @Swanito de Pluff.

Lo storico Robert Crowford si chiede, in un articolo su History Today il motivo della ritrosia dei suoi colleghi a commentare le questioni contemporanee, dato che il passato costituisce l’unica, per quanto non infallibile, guida disponibile per futuro.

The longstanding view of the historian as being, in modern jargon, ‘policy-relevant’, has fallen out of favour and often arouses suspicion. In 1969 the Tudor historian Geoffrey Elton attacked those who looked for ‘applicability’ in history, a sentiment now widespread. Moreover, academic historians work on ever-narrower subjects, becoming specialists in topics which are sometimes comprehensible to fewer than a hundred fellow scholars. There is a view that the devil is in the detail and that history does not repeat itself. Context, in short, is king. Because no two situations are exactly the same, attempting to draw parallels between events risks distortion. ‘Lessons’ cannot be gleaned across time and space and to affect to do so produces oversimplification. As such, there is now widespread professional distaste for the Thucydidean vision. The possibility of developing the implications of a series of historical events and employing this to illuminate current policy challenges jars with the accepted norms of academic life.

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