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This Article Resonated

Reader comment on item: Historians Run Amok

Submitted by Bruce (United States), Apr 5, 2017 at 10:15

This article resonated with close personal experience. My son was something of a child prodigy in history. He was reading tomes such as Norwich's history of Venice before he was 10. In high school, he ran out of history classes by his senior year, so one of his teachers allowed him to be the TA of the AP Euro course - something that the school had never done. He loved that experience and "his" students (including his little sister) rated him highly, and he seemed to be embarking on a career as an academic.

However, when he went to a highly-regarded private university, to his dismay and his parents', he couldn't stomach the history curriculum. It wasn't just the problems that Pipes and Ferguson describe, but also the requirements that he actually take those courses in gender and environmental history, as well as the history of various backwaters that didn't interest him. He ended up in another major, with a minor in history that allowed him to indulge his passion. Moreover, his experience with the history department caused him to turn his back on academia as a career.

What a pity. History lost a promising student and potentially professor.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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