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Archive for the tag “history”

The History of Pandemics Teaches Us Only That We Can’t Be Taught

There’s a term for what’s been missing: “clioepidemiology.” Named after Clio, the muse of history, it describes the practice of studying information from past epidemics for advice about the present. Why are we so bad at doing this in practice? Isn’t everyone who’s ever lived through an ugly epidemic an armchair clioepidemiologist, almost by default? Why haven’t there been more of them spouting off about the lessons that they’ve learned? Or maybe more to the point, why hasn’t anyone been listening?

Read Here – Wired

Why This Crisis Is A Turning Point In History

The era of peak globalisation is over. An economic system that relied on worldwide production and long supply chains is morphing into one that will be less interconnected. A way of life driven by unceasing mobility is shuddering to a stop. Our lives are going to be more physically constrained and more virtual than they were. A more fragmented world is coming into being that in some ways may be more resilient.

Read Here – The New Statesman

Trapped In The Archives

Did the United States have a hand in assassinating Congolese and Dominican leaders in 1961? What did President Richard Nixon’s White House know about a successful plot to kill the head of the Chilean army in 1970? After the Cold War ended, did top U.S. military commanders retain the authority to strike back if a surprise nuclear attack put the president out of commission? The answers to these and other historical mysteries are likely knowable—but they are locked in presidential libraries and government archives and inaccessible to researchers. The reason: the U.S. government’s system for declassifying and processing historical records has reached a state of crisis.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

The Strands Of Arabia: how A People And Religion Were Built On Language

“There were probably Arabs before there was Arabia,” writes Tim Mackintosh-Smith in his extraordinary new survey of these peoples. After all, what does the word “Arab” even mean? For Arabs themselves the term remains elusive: the Egyptian writer and public intellectual Taha Hussein argued that the people to whom the label applied were “in utter confusion” over its meaning.

Read Here – New Statesman

Re-made In China

In reality, China’s longstanding suspicion of foreign influence has not prevented the government or the people from becoming remarkably adept at marshalling the flow of overseas cultural touchstones into the country’s borders, remoulding them into something that isn’t entirely Chinese, but is also totally different from its original form.

Read Here – Aeon

How Will History Judge President Trump?

At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, historians have struggled to detect the kind of virtues that offset his predecessors’ vices: the infectious optimism of Reagan; the inspirational rhetoric of JFK; the legislative smarts of LBJ; or the governing pragmatism of Nixon. So rather than being viewed as the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan or Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Trump gets cast as a modern-day James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce or William Harrison.

Read Here – BBC

Transient Triumphs

Most historical triumphs, we know, are transient. Only recently globalisation appeared an inexorable climax of history. Now it looks to have collapsed. So, it seems, has globalisation’s apparent twin, celebrating diversity within nations. Two other prestigious values, democracy in the polity and equality in society, have also been hit hard.

Read Here- The Indian Express

Japan’s Endless Search For Modernity

Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese? It was on that date that a group of mid-level samurai and imperial courtiers announced the formation of a new government to be ruled by the 16-year old Meiji emperor, thus ending two-and-a-half centuries of control by the Tokugawa samurai family.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Why Do These Wars Never End?

From the Punic Wars (264–146 b.c.) and the Hundred Years War (1337–1453) to the Arab–Israeli wars (1947–) and the so-called War on Terror (2001–), some wars never seem to end. The dilemma is raised frequently given America’s long wars (Vietnam 1955–75) that either ended badly (Iraq 2003–11) or in some ways never quite ended at all (Korea 1950–53 and 2017–?; Afghanistan 2001–). So what prevents strategic resolution?

Read Here – National Review

The Gathering Storm Vs. The Crisis of Confidence

Are we living through an era that resembles the 1930s, when authoritarian leaders were on the march, democratic leaders failed to stand up to them, the international system buckled, and the world was dragged into war? Or are we living through something more like the late 1970s, when America, recovering from its long engagement in a losing war and pulling itself out of a prolonged economic slump, began to take the course corrections that allowed it to embark on a period of national recovery and reassert its international ascendancy?

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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