9 Benefits of Reading History Books
History is widely described as “the study of past events, particularly those pertaining to human affairs,” and is also best understood when given chronologically. That is why some have referred to the subject as ‘the chronology of the past.’
“Historical fiction allows us to "re-experience the social and personal motivations that drove men [and women] to think, feel, and behave as they did in historical reality.”
Knowing one’s history is critical for any community or individual.
1. Determine what occurred—satiate your curiosity.
Exploration is an innate human need. Given that time travel is not a possibility, one of the finest methods to investigate the past is to read a history book. Discovering more about a period or location with which you have a strong affinity but limited information may be a fascinating even exhilarating experience.
One approach to seeing history is a collection of the most popular or most shared materials from the preceding hundreds or thousands of years. To be sure, I am glossing over significant prejudice, attrition, and pain issues. Still, there is a germ of truth here: do you want to read a narrative about a period when nothing occurred, and nobody said or did anything particularly interesting? That is unlikely to be found in a history book—popular history books are frequently created intentionally to entertain as much as to instruct.
THE ADVANTAGES OF UNDERSTANDING A LITTLE MORE- After reading a few more history books.
3. Assist in deciphering what others are saying.
Even if we are privy to it or not, we weave historical references throughout our daily speeches. When we discuss left or right-wing politics, we recall the French Revolution. When we lament a Spartan dinner, we may blame the ancient Greeks. We associate ourselves with a bloodthirsty warmonger of average stature when we meet our Waterloo.
Honestly, most of the time, we can get by well without really understanding what someone means when they make classical references—it did me no damage to spend many years under the notion that Hannibal was an elephant—but it is great to know what makes everyone else nod wisely in agreement.
Similar to my book, Joe’s Alamo Unsung, a novel that is inclusive of all races and religions and that reflects the real personalities of Alamo defenders.
4. Aid in our comprehension of the current stance and even ancient history.
The stories individuals choose to recall and repeat from their pasts can indicate a great deal about their current preoccupations. Only through understanding the past can we grasp why people now hold the beliefs they do and behave the way they do. Additionally, we may better understand the structures and landscapes around us if we understand what shaped them. Is it significant? This is crucial to building relationships with diverse individuals and places.
5. Recognize our origins and reaffirm our identity.
Reading history books can assist individuals in developing an understanding of their place in the world. This is frequently the case with national history, which brings people together via shared experience, even if we merely read about it. This may also be a highly deliberate endeavor, particularly for “younger” countries - because the majority of the world’s countries are less than a century old. However, identity is far more complicated than simply where you live, and knowing about pertinent history may help you feel more secure in who you are.
BENEFITS TO OUR WAY OF THINKING—as a result of reading several history books.
6. Recognize the breadth of human experience.
If we can better understand ourselves from historical texts, we can also gain a better understanding of how previous people lived their lives. This, I believe, is critical because our accomplishments are limited by our imagination — we can only produce what we can imagine. The Harrapan or Indus Valley Civilization is an example of a highly urbanized bronze age society that appears to have been extremely egalitarian and peaceful. This can encourage us to consider more effective methods to organize our own society – or, at the very least, who to elect to do it for us! On the other hand, reading about some of the atrocities that have occurred in the past might help us choose when it is appropriate to advocate for what we believe in.
7. Be aware of how things change.
History is occasionally described as the study of changing processes. I believe that studying history - changes in the past – may help you better comprehend current events or factors that may lead to future change. Extending the idea a little further, you may utilize this historical context to attempt to enhance your own life.
8. Develop your dependability meter or sense of truth.
History may be a contentious subject. Even in the best situations, it will be impacted by the author’s circumstances; occasionally, it will be purposefully excessively skewed. By reading a variety of historical texts, we may develop our ability to be critical readers, rather than simply accepting what we are given. This is most evident when two distinct versions of the same thing are read. Naturally, history texts inspire us to ask questions such as what evidence exists to support the argument? Alternatively, how may the author’s perspective affect his story?
With our dependable meter sharpened via historical reading, we are then better equipped to confront the much more contentious battleground of the present, where prejudice and efforts at manipulation are even more pervasive! And when a politician pledges to restore the good old days, we’ll have a sense of how good the good old days indeed were as well as the success rate of prior politicians who promised to turn back the clock.
9. History books may teach you valuable things.
In the British historical tradition, the concept of learning lessons from history texts is extremely contentious. I’ve heard some historians dismiss the notion that one should read history in order to gain lessons. However, I believe what they mean is that we should avoid oversimplifying history into a collection of plain “lessons learned.”
However, one would hope to gain something from reading history books, perhaps not as directly as many would have us believe — the majority of us, for example, will not be able to determine whether or not to march on Moscow in the winter. While I believe there are lessons to be learned, the precise nature of these teachings is rather complicated.