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Are we learning the wrong lessons from history?

By Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University
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Can historians influence government policy? Should they? And, if so, what kinds of historical knowledge should they produce?

I suspect policy-makers only rarely think of historians as a first port of call when seeking guidance. And historians, for their part, don’t usually have policy-makers in mind as a primary audience. But historians in Australia – as elsewhere – have long been involved in policy debate.

There are traps for those who travel this road. Interpreting the past might offer clues and insights, but it doesn’t normally present clear lessons. The priorities of…The Conversation


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