The Myths We Make: Using the past as an ideological tool

Mar 1, 2018

All of history is, to one degree or another, mythology -- the weaving of a coherent, usable narrative out of the chaos of people's lives. We consider how societies all over the world, since before the beginning of civilization, have developed myths to explain the world that they experience. We also trace some of the major schools of academic history, which have tried to fashion overarching storylines to give meaning to human struggles -- from Biblical providential history to Marxism to postmodernism. We begin by examining the most central myth of the origins of American society: the "first Thanksgiving."
Suggested further reading: Giambattista Vico, "The New Science";  Marc Bloch, "The Historian's Craft";  Hayden White, "Metahistory"

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