In Our Underachieving Colleges, [Derek] Bok acts as both diagnostician and healer, wielding social-science statistics and professional studies to trace the etiology of today's illnesses and to recommend palliative treatments for what he has discovered.
Throughout the human experience people have read history because they felt that it was a pleasure and that it was in some way instructive. The profession of professor of history has taken it in a very different direction.
I can see that you are a true historian because you really always ought to ask that question about anybody at a different place or a different time: What's the same and what's different?
Without history we are the prisoners of the accident of where and when we were born.
From the time I was a little boy I found myself reading history when I had a choice. I read a lot of things, but history had a special appeal for me.
History had its own way of explaining things. The way historians explain things is by telling a story.
We, to some degree, are like what we are because we inherited certain things from the Greeks and the Romans. One of them that's so striking is the whole area of politics.
All comparisons between America's current place in the world and anything legitimately called an empire in the past reveal ignorance and confusion about any reasonable meaning of the concept empire, especially the comparison with the Roman Empire.
War has been more common than peace, and extended periods of peace have been rare in a world divided into multiple states
You have to liberate yourself first from the prejudices of the world in which you live.
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