In his foreword to 'Why do Ruling Classes Fear History?' and Other Questions, Daniel Singer says of Harvey Kaye, 'As a historian he addresses his fellows, urging them to teach their students and the general public that "the present is history and nothing is gained without struggle"; in other words, that the current power relations or institutions ...Read MoreIn his foreword to 'Why do Ruling Classes Fear History?' and Other Questions, Daniel Singer says of Harvey Kaye, 'As a historian he addresses his fellows, urging them to teach their students and the general public that "the present is history and nothing is gained without struggle"; in other words, that the current power relations or institutions have been forged in the past and can be reshaped today and tomorrow.' Through essays that range in tone and content from the rhetorical power of a public address to the intimacy of a personal memoir, Harvey Kaye looks at the value of knowledge and the power of history to liberate. Not content to accept the notion that history is at an end and that individuals are powerless to effect change, Kaye makes an impassioned plea to understand the ongoing, circuitous route of history and its ability to engender social action at a time when society seems to have lost track of the true lessons that history can teach.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1995-11-13 This collection of an academic's essays and reviews aims to invigorate America's lagging Left. Kaye warns against what he sees as conservative efforts to create ``a political culture of lowered expectations'' and, in the title essay, argues that history remains ``a process of struggle for freedom and for justice.'' He supports the much-criticized National History Standards as reflecting often-neglected bottom-up history and urges his colleagues to push their students to become publicly engaged as social and political critics. He finds inspiration in the works of Tom Paine, C. Wright Mills and E.P. Thompson and offers sympathetic reviews of works by Russell Jacoby, John Sayles and Benjamin Barber. For all his passion, however, Kaye, who teaches social change and development at the University of Wisconsin, is mainly addressing the converted. (Jan.)
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