The admonition that we should learn from history is well known. But what does that actually mean?
Advocates of applied history argue that historical studies can be used in practice and provide guidance for the future. Decision-makers and political leaders can gain perspective, find clues to where a trend could lead, and assess what consequences an action could have.
But the growing popularity of applied history obscures the fact that ever since Ancient Greece, historians have analysed the big political, economic and military issues from similar perspectives and approaches. Each generation of historians has developed their research based on previous ideas and knowledge, with the goal of understanding their own era by studying the past.
Classics of Applied History takes a broad and ambitious approach to how historical knowledge is created, taught and used in different periods. A wide range of texts are presented in the book, which together create an overview of, as well as insight into, this always topical subject.