BookBrowse Reviews Dangerous Games by Margaret MacMillan

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Dangerous Games

The Uses and Abuses of History

by Margaret MacMillan

Dangerous Games
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2009, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2010, 208 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Derek Brown

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An examination of the many ways in which history is used and abused

Known as a historian who takes on ambitious projects, Margaret MacMillan doesn't disappoint in Dangerous Games. Drawing upon a wealth of historical examples, she reminds the reader that history is malleable, and too often distorted for political and sociological gain. She cautions that history is neither a guide nor an authority, and that its true value is to be found in the process of examination, rather than in the judgment of its content.

[History] aids in formulating questions, and without good questions it is difficult to begin to think in a coherent way at all. Knowledge of history suggests what sort of information might be needed to answer those questions. Experience teaches how to assess that information.

MacMillan's approach is both engrossing and accessible. Inevitably, people will cite specific historical facts to buttress an argument, choosing select tidbits to ...

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