Joanne B. Freeman
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Joanne B. Freeman (born April 27, 1962) is a U.S. historian and tenured Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University. She has researched Alexander Hamilton for more than forty years.
- I want to offer a little ode to the importance of studying history. We’ve seen the assertion of “alternative facts” – meaning, essentially, a denial of actual facts. We’ve see the proliferation of “fake news,” along with the suggestion that it’s impossible to differentiate between “real” and “fake” news. Studying history responsibly does some handy things. It compels you to confront and consider ugly realities as part of a bigger picture. Studying history compels you to investigate, evaluate, compare, and analyze evidence to help you piece together ACTUAL facts. And in teaching people to evaluate evidence in search of facts, it trains them to logically analyze and interpret news for themselves. [F]or those insisting that the humanities has no value, we are getting daily examples of how the study of history offers practical tools for understanding not only the past, but the present.
- If you don't know your history, you don't know who you are. Holds true for nations too.
- I’ve stayed interested in Hamilton not because he was a standard-issue hero, but because of his complications; he was self-destructive, had a highly problematic personality, and was often extreme in his politics. I don’t like hero history. It does the study of history a disservice on a thousand different levels. It’s far more interesting to study complicated people and the history they helped to shape.