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Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (Modern by Margaret MacMillan

By Margaret MacMillan

Acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan explores the following the various ways that background impacts us all. She indicates how a deeper engagement with heritage, either as participants and within the sphere of public debate, might help us comprehend ourselves and the realm larger. yet she additionally warns that historical past could be misused and result in false impression. historical past is used to justify spiritual pursuits and political campaigns alike. Dictators may perhaps suppress background since it undermines their rules, agendas, or claims to absolute authority. Nationalists might inform fake, one-sided, or deceptive tales in regards to the previous. Political leaders may possibly mobilize their humans by way of telling lies. it really is principal that we've got an knowing of the earlier and steer clear of those and different universal traps in pondering to which many fall prey. This brilliantly reasoned paintings, alive with incident and figures either nice and notorious, will compel us to ascertain background anew—and skillfully illuminates why it is very important deal with the earlier with care.

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Additional info for Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (Modern Library Chronicles)

Sample text

There was a time, so this story goes, when all people spoke the same language. " The plan for this great tower was thus an attempt at unification as one single people (to "make a name for ourselves") and at one single place (as opposed to being "sc,~ttered over the face of the. Earth"). Th~ means to this "ethnogenetic end was to be the collectIve constructIOn of a aigantic structure-an enterprise that would be possible only if all :poke the same language, thus ensuring communication and coo~­ dination.

Sacred Space and Chronotope With its orientation to the heavens, sacred space in Egyptian archit~cture also represents a chronotope, a dimension where heavenly tune reigns. To build a sacred space was to establish not only a spatial but also a temporal link with the heavens; it was a realization of eternity. And for that reason, the construction of sacred precincts in Egypt is closely bound up with kingship. During the ritual of the foundation of the temple, the gods say to the king: As truly as your monument stands on its foundations like heaven on its pillars your work will endure with its lord like the earth with the Ennead.

Akhet is the threshold region between the sky, the earth, and the underworld; in particular, akhet is the place where the sun rises. The etymological root of the word has the meaning of "blaze, be radiant"; likewise, the hieroglyph for akhet has nothing in common with the pyramid, but is a pictogram of the sun rising or setting between two mountains. The pyramid does not represent such an akhet, but symbolizes it in an aniconic way. " As the sun god ascends from the underworld to the akhet and appears in the sky, so the king interred in the pyramid ascends to heaven by way of his akhet, his threshold of light.

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