What history teaches

Published: Sunday, Apr. 27, 2014 - 9:04 am

Re "An American Cartoonist: History degrees and academic struggle, 1978-1999" (Forum, April 20): It appears Jack Ohman's history class short-changed him. Historiography isn’t merely a how-to. It is the history of history. The Greeks and even the Hebrews discovered it when they strayed from interpretations of life determined by cyclical forces in which humanity's role was to appease and obey the gods.

From their discovery that life was one thing after another, those early historians were left to explain events shaped by mankind's own hand in linear and profane time as opposed to that sacred and immutable.

Today, some would abolish history and replace the disparate and complex events that form a civilization's narrative by returning to legends of sacred interventions as interpreted by the Chosen. These folks recraft the past around fantasy memories to extinguish change and progress. Fast becoming a cult, we know them better as Republicans.

-- Spencer P. LeGate, Sacramento

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