I have had a fascination with politics and history since grade school. I suspect that watching the news with my parents as a wee bab has a lot to do with it–Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark is the first one I remember, and I have a fondness for him like I would an uncle I don’t see very often. Good ol’ Uncle Joe, in my living room every night at six.
Wanting to understand current events drew me into the history of things, and while my post-secondary studies were in psychology, my love of political history has continued. I’m not as voracious a reader as I was in my youth, but that curiosity and yearning to understand why things are the way they are still burns within me. I know, I know; there are creams for that. But what fun would that be?
It’s impossible for one to know everything, though, and so as recent events between US and Iran have unfolded, I’ve been digging through the history for some more context. I could go back a very, very long way to the ancient history of Iran, but I think one of the reasons why people don’t tend to pay attention to history is because of how involved it inevitably becomes. The volume of information is overwhelming.
I believe this lack of attention paid to history is not just sad but dangerous; the old adage “he who does not learn history is doomed to repeat it” exists for a reason. It’s not reasonable, however, to expect everybody to have the time to sift through volumes of dense, dry tomes. We all have lives, and let’s be honest, many history authors are pretty fucking dull.
Hence, my idea of writing a bite-sized history column.
Basically, what I want to do is look at the history underpinning current events and give the Coles Notes (er…Cliff Notes, for you Americans) version. I’ll try to keep it short and approachable, highlighting what I perceive to be the key points.
I will undoubtedly make mistakes; when that happens, please bring it to my attention–I’m not a historian, just a passionate amateur, and if you have another, better source, I am all ears. I do this because I want to learn, and I’d be an ass to not stay open to new information, especially given that ‘history is written by the victors’, and stories that contradict the victors can sometimes take decades, even centuries, to come to the fore.
And if you have any requests, let me know! I can’t promise I’ll do them all–I don’t even know how frequently I’ll do this–but if it piques my curiosity, I’ll go digging 🙂
your local molegirl