Why History is Important for Understanding the Present

Posted September 27, 2022

In this age of social media and twenty-four-hour news cycles, misinformation and even “fake news” abounds. Citizens looking for context will often turn to history for answers.

However, not all histories are created equal. The threat of dictators and ideologues twisting histories for their political or social agendas is very real.

With this in mind, historian and author Margaret MacMillan spoke recently to supporters of the Canada’s History Editor’s Circle about the crucial need to both challenge bad histories — and to think critically and thoughtfully about the past.

Margaret MacMillan is professor of History at the University of Toronto and professor emeritus of International History at Oxford University. Her latest book is War: How Conflict Shaped Us.

This recording was made at a special event in Toronto for supporters of the Canada’s History Editor’s Circle.

Past presentations from the Editor's Circle

The Future of the Crown in Canada

The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, was the end of an era. Canada’s History spoke recently to historians about the Queen’s immense legacy — and the Crown’s uncertain future in Canada.

Join the Editor’s Circle

Accelerate the pace and spread of Canada’s history storytelling and empower Canadians to build connections among diverse communities through their shared past.

An annual giving program, the Editor’s Circle was established in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Canada’s History (founded in 1920 as The Beaver magazine). Integral to our editorial success, donors’ contributions empower us to share more diverse stories of Canada’s past. Learn more

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