History is understanding and learning from the past. At least that’s my interpretation of it. From a young age I was always fascinated by History, I grew up surrounded by encyclopedias that my Grandad had bought me, all ranging from generic books to encyclopedias of human history. Admittedly I didn’t always read them, sometimes I just looked at the pictures and illustrations (I was a child remember).
It was about the time I got to secondary school that I figured that I should study history more. So, when I enrolled for Sixth Form I had it all picked out. It was an interesting time, in fact, it was the only class I think I truly enjoyed in those two years. Over the two years I studied Russian history from 1939-1991, American Civil Rights from 1954-1969 and British political history (which was boring but still.
Fast forward to University and I currently do a degree in History and English! I’ve studied 19th Century America to the American Presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump (still can’t believe he’s in power). I love it! There’s so much we can learn from the past and from reading. Part of the reason for my interests in history are attributed to those who taught me from family members to my University lecturers. They all contributed to my interests.
On my 19th birthday, I was given this book:
Although Gombrich originally wrote this for children, it struck a chord with me. It summarises everything from the Big Bang all the way up to the end of the Second World War. For a book aimed at children, it’s pretty thorough and precise! I loved reading it and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this post right now!
Reading this book opened my eyes to all sorts of things that I’d never heard of or been taught, like the Babylonians for example. It made me want to read further and further!
However, it also opened my eyes to how much of history is actually made up of conflict and war. I mean although we as humans only exist for periods of time, all we have to do is look back over the last 100 years and see the wars, conflict and death caused by man. It’s actually quite sad, yet history remains relevant and we should all seek to learn from the past, especially in today’s world with growing international tensions. We should all take a step back and think:
“Are We Repeating The Past Here?”
Just look over the course of 600 years and see what we have done. (http://io9.gizmodo.com/this-chart-shows-how-many-people-have-died-from-conflic-1713625114).
Well, that’s the end of this ramble. I hope it’s given you all something to think about and who knows, maybe it’s made you want to read more into the past? Perhaps made you want to read Gombrich? Maybe made you realise that this guy thinks too much? Who knows…
It’ll be history soon.