Bruce Thatcher became frustrated as America’s leaders repeatedly acted contrary to historical wisdom. He winced as they rarely seemed to hear what history speaks but, instead, put forth as new public policy historically-discredited approaches to almost every problem faced by our nation.
So, after retirement from a long business career, he decided to do something about it.
He established History Speaks Today, a project dedicated to sharing lessons learned from history, accomplishments and failures.
He hopes policy makers will incorporate such historical insights into their approaches to current affairs.
Experience – ours and others' – can give us insights for practical living. The experience of others is called history. Learning and then applying history’s lessons is political science.
History is not generally taught as practical lessons for today. History courses usually focus on a country or an area or a personality and march through a specific period in chronological fashion.
Who, what, when, where, and sometimes why are covered, but so what is rarely considered. Practical lessons to guide us today are not articulated.
History Speaks Today, urges educators to teach history and political science in a new way, focused on practical applications for today.
Naysayers insist that history provides no practical lessons for the present. Proponents may believe that it does, but they haven’t demonstrated it. So History Speaks Today is doing it through case studies to illustrate what worked and what didn't work.
History Speaks Today articulates overarching lessons supported by historical episodes and relevant facts. HST distills such lessons into explicit guidelines that were followed … or should have been. Relevant historical cases are presented in books for use by teachers, students, politicians, policy makers and concerned citizens.
As with business, we know that making decisions similar to those made in the past will lead to similar outcomes. So each book concludes with a summary of explicit guidelines for how its lessons should be applied in response to today's problems.
As George Santayana observed, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Therefore, historical lessons should guide us and our leaders. Understanding them may not ensure making the best choices today or in the future, but it can help us reject demonstrated bad choices and, thus, more likely arrive at better choices.
And especially, if there’s a subject that passionately concerns you, let us know if you’d like to author a future HST book!