How Can We Use (but Not Abuse) History?

Richard Haass and Margaret MacMillan, one of the world’s foremost historians, discuss how best to apply history to better understand current global challenges, including the erosion of democracy, the rise of China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

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Host
  • Richard Haass
    President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
Episode Guests
  • Margaret MacMillan
    Professor, University of Toronto

Show Notes

About This Episode

 

It is often said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But history is open to a wide variety of interpretations, and historical precedents can be used to justify wise and unwise policies alike. In this episode of Nine Questions for the World, Richard Haass sits down with one of the world’s foremost historians, Margaret MacMillan, to examine different ways to apply history to better understand current global challenges, including the erosion of democracy, the rise of China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. 

 

This podcast series was originally presented as “The 21st Century World: Big Challenges and Big Ideas,” an event series in celebration of CFR’s centennial. This episode is based on a live event that took place on April 13, 2021.

 

See the corresponding video here.

 

Dig Deeper

 

From Margaret MacMillan

 

Why the U.S. Has Spent 200 Years Flip-Flopping Between Isolationism and Engagement,” History

 

The big idea: is world government possible?,” The Guardian

 

Which Past Is Prologue?,” Foreign Affairs

 

From CFR 

 

Claire Felter, “The COVID-19 Vaccination Challenge: Lessons From History

 

James Lindsay, “Lessons From the U.S. Entry Into World War I

 

Living in History,” Why It Matters 

 

Read More

 

John Jeffries Martin, “Why study history? Because it can save us from democratic collapse.,” Washington Post

 

Lucian Staiano-Daniels, “When Germany Was China,” Foreign Policy


Michael Schuman, “China’s Inexorable Rise to Superpower Is History Repeating Itself,” Bloomberg Businessweek

 

Economics

Richard Haass and Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics, assess the future of the labor market and examine how to provide workers with the skills and training they need in an era of ongoing technological change.

Global

CNN Host Fareed Zakaria and Richard Haass examine the concept of “world order” and what to do to promote it in an age of revived great-power rivalry and global challenges.

China

By all accounts, China is sure to have an outsized impact on the world over the next 100 years. Richard Haass and Elizabeth Perry, director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, consider China’s rise and the implications for global order.   

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