The Pandemic and History

Four historians consider whether the experience of the pandemic has changed their views on the nature of historical crises.

Coloured woodcut image of the four horseman of the apocalypse as printed in Anton Koberger's German bible, f.577r, 1485 © The University of Edinburgh.

‘The last year has underlined the interconnected nature of events’

Alex von Tunzelmann, Author of Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Strictly, the answer to this question is no: the facts of this pandemic and the response have not changed the facts or natures of previous crises. More broadly, though, watching a global crisis unfold in real time has made me think about how I approach historical crises in three ways: focus, connections and diversity of experience.

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