We can learn from history how past generations thought and acted, how they responded to the demands of their time and how they solved their problems. We can learn by analogy, not by example, for our circumstances will always be different than theirs were. The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events.
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What we do about history matters. The often repeated saying that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them has a lot of truth in it. But what are ‘the lessons of history’? The very attempt at definition furnishes ground for new conflicts. History is not a recipe book; past events are never replicated in the present in quite the same way. Historical events are infinitely variable and their interpretations are a constantly shifting process. There are no certainties to be found in the past.Topics in History
|Birth:||30th April, 1920|
|Death:||2nd January, 2013|
Gerda Hedwig Lerner was born in Vienna, Austria. She was an Austrian-born American historian, author, and professor. She was one of the founders of the academic field of women's history. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1965 and 1966. She served as a professor at Sarah Lawrence College from 1968-79. She served as president of the Organization of American Historians in 1980-81. She was appointed Robinson Edwards Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1980-1991. She wrote several books include: The Woman in American History, Black Women in White America, The Female Experience, Teaching Women's History, The Creation of Patriarchy, Why History Matters, Fireweed, and Living with History / Making Social Change.
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