History, Policy and Public Purpose: Historians and Historical Thinking in Government (2016)

Alix R. Green

This book takes a fresh look at the connection between history and policy, proposing that historians rediscover a sense of ‘public purpose’ that can embrace political decision-making – and also enhance historical practice. Making policy is a complex and messy affair, calling on many different forms of expertise and historians have often been reluctant to get involved in policy advice, with those interested in ‘history in public’ tending to work with museums, heritage sites, broadcasters and community organisations. Green notes, however, that historians have also insisted that ‘history matters’ in public policy debate, and been critical of politicians’ distortions or neglect of the past. She argues that it is not possible to have it both ways.

Publisher website is here.

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