It might be true that humans are impervious to reason and compassion, and are therefore unredeemable. If they are, history is indeed “bunk”, because its intrinsic purpose is to increase the role of reason and compassion in this world.
“The History Question: Who Owns the Past?”, Quarterly Essay, No. 23, pg. 37.
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Clendinnen is definitely one of my favourites: an Aussie historian who decided she could displace herself from her regional environment and ended up writing brilliant, innovative stuff on both Mayan AND Australian historical episodes of culture contact.