Citizen Scholars

Tosh, John
July 2012
History Today;Jul2012, Vol. 62 Issue 7, p44
The article discusses the role of historical knowledge in political participation. Particular focus is given to 19th-century British historians J. R. Seeley and William Stubbs, who believed that an understanding of history was an essential tool for making informed decisions about contemporary issues and events. Details on the roles of historians in 20th-century civic and informal education are also presented. According to the author, modern public historians can learn from programs such as the Workers Education Association (WEA) which provided a background in social and economic history to ordinary citizens. It is suggested that 21st-century media technology could greatly increase the ability of such a program to reach a wide audience.


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