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Opinion
Stephen L. Carter

History Books With Insight for the Future

Why geography matters, and novels, too.
History is always looming.

History is always looming.

Photographer: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

As regular readers know, I am a great believer in the study of history, and not only because we seem endlessly doomed to repeat it. I also believe that the study of what has gone before is a useful if generally ignored corrective to our contemporary tendency to see every problem as sui generis.

Happily, 2015 has been an outstanding year for history books. I mention a baker’s half-dozen here, not necessarily because they’re the best -- although they might be -- but because of what they teach us about the perils of the present. Every book on the list taught me something new.