Jan 4 • 3M

Are we losing our interest in history?

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Long-form articles & podcasts about Atlanta's history, culture and more. Premium content is denoted with a "lock" icon under the title.
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This recording originally appeared in the December 2022 episode of the Sherpa Cafe…

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  • Personal Experience

  • Observations as a tour guide from 2014 — 2021

During my 7-year run as a local tour guide, I never got the sense that people were passionate about history.

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  • Are we losing our interest in history?

  • Does it matter? How so?

  • What led to the decline?

  • What can we do about it?

Historical Thinking

The Historical Thinking Project is rethinking how Canadian students learn about history. Their website features exemplary lesson plans that explain how to get your students thinking historically.

Inequality affects our physical and mental health, our ability to get along with one another and to make our voices heard and our political system accountable, and, of course, the futures that we can offer our children. Lately, I’ve noticed a feature of economic inequality that has not received the attention it deserves. I call it “intellectual inequality.”

That’s what history does best. It locates us and helps us understand how we got here and why things are the way they are. “History instills a sense of citizenship, and reminds you of questions to ask, especially about evidence,” Willis told me. In a follow-up e-mail after our conversation, Mikhail wrote, “A study of the past shows us that the only way to understand the present is to embrace the messiness of politics, culture, and economics.”

From The Decline of Historical Thinking by Eric Alterman — New Yorker, Feb 2019

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