How to (Really) Study History

WWII historian Emily Zanotti teams up with homeschool mom (and lover of books) Bethany Mandel to lay out the best ways to study and learn from history—for adults and kids.

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There are 4 comments.

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  1. LisaEastKy Bethany

    Great episode, ladies! I’ve always loved history and feel very proud of America & her story. Unfortunately, now that my kids are both teens & in high school, I’m now in the minority in my household. I’m jealous of Bethany because I remember how wonderful it was when they were younger & they’d enjoy the time we spent together going to the library & reading (and talking about) books (including the Little House series!). Anyway, those days are loooong gone and now they’re both so dismissive of the American story & its prominent historical figures. It’s like they have been trained to only be interested in a someone long enough to discover his or her “flaw,” at which point they feel that they can simply disregard that person entirely. It’s frustrating and discouraging, not to mention it keeps them fairly ignorant. I always thought that my own enthusiasm about learning history would be enough of an example to counteract what they encountered at school; I’m sorry to realize now that I was probably wrong. Oh well, with any luck they’ll come back around in their 20s. Right??

    • #1
    • July 10, 2020, at 1:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    LisaEastKy (View Comment):

    Great episode, ladies! I’ve always loved history and feel very proud of America & her story. Unfortunately, now that my kids are both teens & in high school, I’m now in the minority in my household. I’m jealous of Bethany because I remember how wonderful it was when they were younger & they’d enjoy the time we spent together going to the library & reading (and talking about) books (including the Little House series!). Anyway, those days are loooong gone and now they’re both so dismissive of the American story & its prominent historical figures. It’s like they have been trained to only be interested in a someone long enough to discover his or her “flaw,” at which point they feel that they can simply disregard that person entirely. It’s frustrating and discouraging, not to mention it keeps them fairly ignorant. I always thought that my own enthusiasm about learning history would be enough of an example to counteract what they encountered at school; I’m sorry to realize now that I was probably wrong. Oh well, with any luck they’ll come back around in their 20s. Right??

    Might not be until their thirties but they will come back around. From personal experience I would say you may end up surprised at how much they come around.

    • #2
    • July 11, 2020, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Ansonia Member
    AnsoniaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Fantastic podcast ! So much good information and suggestions regarding resources for people looking to get things for grandkids, nieces and nephews. I’m computer inept, but will try to leave a five star review later today when I re-listen with a pen and paper on hand for writing down the books, writers, companies, etc that you mention.

    Thanks so much for this episode.

    • #3
    • July 11, 2020, at 7:47 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Hank Rhody, Freelance Philosop… Contributor

    When I visited the Alamo I looked at the history books in the gift shop. The backs all read something like “Demythologizing the Texas revolution”. No. One, “demythologizing” means “boring”. It means they’ll tell me the most interesting bits probably didn’t happen and spend more time on the flaws of the heroes than their heroism. Two, the mythology of the Texas revolution is incredibly important to how Texans have seen themselves ever since. Three, it probably means the author is an academic weenie who couldn’t write compelling prose to save his tenure. And finally, four, it almost certainly denies the possibility of greatness.

    Any advice on finding history texts that actually walk you through the mythology?

    • #4
    • July 11, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like