It has been said repeatedly that those who cannot learn the lesson of history are condemned to repeat it. I can only conclude that not many people believe that statement, because so few have any interest whatsoever in history. Eyes glaze over when it is mentioned. You may even have started to reach for the button on your radio when I mentioned it. But if you are still listening, consider this: It is entirely the fault of your teachers that you never acquired a taste for history. I will confess that I came to my interest in history late in life. I blame my teachers for that. History is a set of fascinating stories, and who doesn’t like a good story? And more than that. These excellent stories go a long way toward explaining what’s going on around us.
Great leaders always are students of history. If they weren’t they would find themselves utterly lost in understanding the world around them. They are able to lead people because they understand what is happening, and their decisions are based on a knowledge that those who never hit the books can never understand. Notice also that I called them students of history. The teachers of history rarely attain to leadership roles, and that is just as well. If you happen to be a history teacher, and you take exception to what I am saying, I would be more than happy to hear from you. And if you are really good at your profession, I can only say I am sorry I didn’t meet you sooner.
So, why am I on a tear about history today? Because I am about to launch on a new series of programs looking at one of the most pivotal times in all of history.