Taking history out into the world
Mathew Lyons argues that historians need to make a greater impact on the political debate about the kind of world we wish to live in.
My eyes were caught the other week by a news story in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which reported an interview with the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Defending his country against accusations of antisemitism, Zarif cited, among other things, the role of Cyrus the Great, who led Persia in the mid-sixth century BC, in rescuing the Jewish people from Babylon.
It is not often that politicians reach quite so far back in history for their examples. Indeed, as a rule, few politicians are much interested in history at all.