altThe History of the Renaissance World:  From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Conquest of Constantinople by Susan Wise Bauer (W. W. Norton, 2013)

Three years ago, when I finished reading Bauer's The History of the Medieval World, I wrote a brief review. With very minor tweaks it could serve just as well for a review of her history of the Renaissance. I'm still looking forward to her next installment, whenever that may be; I'm still tired of "kings and battles and political intrigue" factor and want to hear more about art, music, and everyday life; I'm still hopelessly confused by the endless repetition of the same names for European rulers and the unpronounceable names of rulers everywhere else; and I still love seeing the connections between European history and my genealogical research.

Slowly, slowly I am building up a historical framework in my mind. When I was in school, I didn't have the least interest in history. I had negative interest in history, actually. Math was important, science was important—but history?  Boring and useless. Out-of-date. Now I know better. For all I know, history in schools may still be boring, but that tragedy doesn't diminish its importance. Without knowing where we've been, we don't know where we are, and we certainly don't know where we should go and how we might get there.

I would still put the ability to read well and excellence in mathematics at the top of my list of educational priorities, but a solid grounding in history would come next.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Edit
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