Yes, history is the recorded interpretation of an event that has already taken place and while it’s derived from the sources available to the historian at the time of their research, it is never the final word. If other sources are found or shared, the interpretation changes. Historical research, when done well, takes into account as many sources and perspectives as possible. To this point it should be noted that historical knowledge, while paramount in academic settings, can and should be applied outside them.
Consider the work of policymakers and the benefit historical sensibility will bring to the table. Frank Gavin (2008) suggests five concepts that illustrate how historical analysis can benefit policymakers and calls them “vertical history, horizontal history, chronological proportionality, unintended consequences, and policy insignificance (p. 166). To read his full paper, click here. We at Saving History concur with Mr. Gavin and have taken applied history, also referred to as public history to new levels.
Think about how what you are planning today may be impacted by what has already taken place. Can some historical research help?
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Gavin, F. (2008). History and policy. International Journal. 162-177.