The Future of the Past: Big Questions in History. (Reviews).
The Future of the Past: Big Questions in History. Peter Martland,
editor. Pimlico Original. [pounds sterling]12.50 p.b. 164 pages. ISBN 0-7126-6856-X. This collection began life as a series of lectures in
Cambridge's History Faculty in 1999-2000 and it was the Faculty
that collectively has published this volume, a successor to
Globalization in World History. The lectures' aim was to place
'a range of broad historical themes and ideas' into 'some
kind of perspective'. After a brief introduction by Prof.
Christopher Andrew there are nine essays examining a wide range of
topics: religious authority among Christians and Mohammedans; the
Carolingian inheritance in Europe; an essay on 'What is
Europe?'; the importance of population history; a new look at
industrialisation; the nature of American domination of the twentieth
century, or at least most of it; the nature of civil liberties; the
collapse of those political ideologies that so dominated and corrupted
life in the twentieth century; and, finally, 'culture at the start
of the new millennium'. The essays are designed to stimulate
thought and to encourage students to see the value of a 'long
perspective' on current problems that only history can give.