26 March 2009

Losing Our Sense Of History

"In our schools today, the story of our nation has been replaced by social studies — which is the study of what ails us now. In our churches, the effort to see the essential nature of man has been displaced by the social gospel — which is the polemic against the pet vices of today. Our book publishers no longer seek the timeless and the durable, but spend most of their efforts in a fruitless search for — a la mode social commentary — which they pray will not be out of date when the item goes to press. Our merchandisers frantically devise their new year models, which will cease to be voguish when their sequels appear three months hence. Neither our classroom lessons nor our sermons nor our books nor the things we live nor the houses we live in are any longer strong ties to our past. We have become a nation of short term doomsayers. In a word, we have lost our sense of history. Without the materials of historical comparison, we are left with nothing but abstractions." ~ Renowned historian and Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin in Newsweek 6 July 1970 (Hat tip to Doug Phillips)

4 comments:

Brboyd said...

I always enjoyed Daniel Boorstin's books. Even more so now!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I wonder what he'd say now.

Brboyd said...

Well, we know it would not be quoted in Newsweek today like it was in 1970. He would have to go on Fox News.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Great quote. I didn't know you liked Doug Phillips....