DAVID KAISER-How predictable were today’s crises? What happens when we forget history?

Written on August 6th, 2021

I talk with historian DAVID KAISER about two books. His own A LIFE IN HISTORY talks about how the study of history has changed. Fields like African-American History and Women’s History deal with evidence nobody had bothered to look at before. But as these focused areas have developed, Kaiser says we look less today at history’s broader sweep. Might this increase our tendency to repeat the past? THE FOURTH TURNING: An American Prophesy (Straus & Howe) holds that history is not linear, but cyclical, and that every 80 years or so, a crisis disrupts society, the old order crumbles, and a new order emerges. No surprise – we’re in the midst of such a crisis. Will we emerge broken or renewed?