The Curse of History

Colonialism, the Irish potato famine, slavery, the treatment of aboriginal people – politicians are under increasing pressure to apologise for Britain’s history. Collective grief is becoming the basis of public policy. Jeremy Black – one of the UK’s leading historians – argues that this is a dangerous development. There is a politics of grievance that runs through the polemical use of history around the world. Drawing on examples from the UK, USA, Eastern Europe, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, “The Curse of History” illustrates why this is dangerous: politically it splits communities rather than drawing them together, while historically it leads to distorted and monolithic interpretations. “The Curse of History” is a devastating critique of the political abuse of history.