At the beginning of the new millennium, The Future of the Past offers a fresh interpretation of the issues and developments that have shaped our world over the last thousand years. By bringing together the expertise of members of the History Faculty at Cambridge University, all of them leaders in their chosen fields, a work of history has been created that is both fascinating and unique. Rather than approaching history as a chain of past events, this book examines some of the key issues facing mankind today and places them into a broad historical context by examining their development throughout the ages.
By viewing history through themes such as religious authority, civil liberty, political ideology, demographic change and economic cycles, The Future of the Past challenges many long-held beliefs and enables the reader to reflect upon the dramatic changes of the past and the challenges of the future.
As Europe reshapes itself, the question of how it was defined in the past comes to the fore; as Britain experiences devolution, its historical contours and identity are being probed afresh; as the influence of the United States steadily extends across the globe, it compels a reappraisal of the history and responsiveness of Western intellectual, cultural and political traditions.
By exploring these issues, The Future of the Past provides an authoritative yet accessible introduction to the study of history and demonstrates how the changing present can revitalize our views of the past.