Does History Matter?

It’s easy in this election season to feel that “Things have never been this bad.” Old fogies might say, “This isn’t as bad it was back in ______!” but if you are a millenial looking to get a decent job, you might find it hard to agree.

So depending on how you are feeling it’s easy enough to think, Things were much better in the good ol‘ days or the exact opposite, It’s never been better. Either way, we can get caught up with our own lives. So, should we care about the past, and specifically should we care about history? I’d argue yes.

In fact, it’s one of our favorite historical characters, who features prominently in a variety of historical mysteries, who says it better than most others can.


Marcus Tullius Cicero, lawyer, orator, consul of Rome, and staunch supporter of the Republic, said that almost two millenia ago. I ran across this specific quote in Robert Harris‘ newest novel Dictator – the third in a series of books centered around Cicero.

So today, whether we focus narrowly on the unfolding US presidential primaries or the re-emerging cold war between Russia and the US, the rise of ISIS, or the refugee crisis unfolding in Asia Minor – I’d argue, as Cicero did, that history has much to teach us. And yes, reading historical mysteries, is just as good a way to – a more fun way I’d argue – to learn about history. Tell us which is your favorite read!


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