Looking Back: Those Who Cannot Remember the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It
"THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT”
Our resident historian, Bill Cohn, focusses his remarks on this legendary statement from philosopher George Santayana’s as well as historian Stephen Engle’s observation that today “we live in a world in which what people believe happened is all that matters” – facts are not relevant.
Many people argue that we can’t rewrite the past. “What happened, happened”, they say. Cohn will dispute that point of view and argue that the search for a usable past produces inspired versions of the American experience and its history that indeed lead to a rewriting of the past.
Cohn is a retired college professor and administrator who taught History and American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, European History at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, was executive assistant to the president of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and served as Associate Dean of the Business School at the University of Hartford, CT.