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A Blast From the Past

Who’s the coolest person you know? Think hard. If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit he or she is probably an historian. Don’t feel strange. America is with you. The sale of history books rose 6.6% last year for some 14.6 million copies. Entire channels devoted to historical material enrapture U.S. audiences on a daily basis. And if that’s not enough, people have taken to paying top dollar to spend time with their favorite historical thinker. A recent fundraiser for the New York Historical Society saw people give a minimum of $5,000 to be seated near Andrew Carnegie biographer David Nasaw. While the experts can’t agree as to the cause of the past’s reinvigorated allure in American culture, it remains certain that historians are eating up the present. Take that, computer science.

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While this fascination with the past is a bit ironic in a nation 200+ years young, it is hardly new.
Look around the globe and tell me who else:
- has an obsession with battlefield reenactments, etc
- has raised modern government buildings hinting at the ancient glory of Rome and Greece

I think this infatuation with history arises from the fact that America feels the need to prove itself among the older nations and arcissistically sees herself as the new Roman Empire and maybe (only maybe) secretly hopes it can become a glorious monarchy. The Economist has a good piece on America’s fondness for monarchy.

Isn’t it obvious?

This file was left on my MySpace page … (JPEG file). This just logically follows, considering I was once the sexiest man alive.

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