How Americans Learn and Don't Learn From History

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Media Outlet: CNN

Peter Bergen wrote an article for CNN where he analyzed the importance of history and what we learn from it:

As Americans celebrate July Fourth, memorializing the birth of the United States almost two and half centuries ago, we should ask what we gain from the study of history.
It seems like a simple question with an even simpler answer: We don't know where we are going if we don't know where we're from.
But there is a deeper reason, which is that history allows us to understand our own fallibility and hubris, helping us to approach our shortcomings with some degree of humility.
It also emphasizes that progress is not linear, nor is it irreversible. With every step forward, we can still take two steps back. But if we study history's trajectory and learn from our mistakes, perhaps we can be better attuned to what President Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" in his 1861 inaugural address.


    Peter Bergen is a journalist, documentary producer, vice president at New America, CNN national security analyst, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and the author or editor of seven books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post.