History as Prologue
To be clear, the title of this blog, with its obvious nod to Shakespeare’s quote in The Tempest, isn’t meant to convey my belief in determinism. History as Prologue does, however, refer to the instructive potential of history – the present day interpretation of past events. If, when you read a headline or hear reporting of a current event story and you begins activating your knowledge and love of history to bring order to that story, then please become part of this blog community!
But why have times changed?
From the docket of cases taken up each year by the Supreme Court of the United States, to the engineering works that bridge historic waterways, history brings context to our everyday lives. In our dynamic world, simply – or worse – carelessly acknowledging times have changed has no value unless we understand two issues. Why did times change and from what characteristics did they change? These are the basic questions that drive content on History as Prologue.
Topics interpreted on this site are often very serious matters, but some are lighter, perhaps even uplifting. Reflections on our cultural past tend to be a mixture of pleasing events that happened against a backdrop of dark intrigue or social injustice. In the case of literature, what history lover doesn’t have a beloved novel set in the past? As an experiment, The Great Gatsby was reviewed as an online book discussion, a collaboration that will no doubt lead to more participatory events. It is the totality of history, not some parochial focus, that brings depth to the meaning of historical incidents and broad movements.
Teaching American History
Few endeavors are more noble or more difficult than conveying a past that has not been experienced. If you read this blog, it’s unlikely that your love of history stems from some boring, uninspired social studies class, but rather from the enthusiasm and penetrating understanding of that favorite teacher or professor of history. As with all diligent social studies teachers, I never cease looking for new ways to bridge the past with those whose own memories often reach back less than two mere decades. Making those indispensable connections seldom come from reading a standardized text; they come from providing students with an opportunity to struggle with the inconsistencies of multiple perspectives from the past and present. This is what History as Prologue offers to you the reader.
Connect, interact, write
I hope that you’ll click on our Interact page and become part of a larger community of like-minded people who appreciate the discipline of American History. Follow, like, join one or more of this site’s supporting social media platforms and add History as Prologue to your RSS readers. Simply write me with any thoughts, questions or concerns.
Thank you for visiting this site. I look forward to our active interaction!