CANCELLED The Manipulation of History


Join us at the Frontline Club to hear Christopher de Bellaigue, author of Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten Peoples discuss the manipulation of history with Margaret Macmillan, author of The Uses and Abuses of History.

In Rebel Land acclaimed author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue journeys to Turkey‘s inhospitable eastern provinces to find out the meaning of love and death in a remote, forgotten, impossibly conflicted part of the world. Immersing himself in the achingly beautiful district of Varto, a place left behind in Turkey‘s march to modernity, medieval in its attachment to race and religious sect, he explores the violent history of conflict between Turks, Kurds and Armenians, and the maelstrom, of emotion and memories, that defines its inhabitants even today.

In her book The Uses and Abuses of History Margaret Macmillan puts history under the spotlight: History is useful when it is used properly – to understand why we and those we must deal with think and react in certain ways. It can offer examples to inform our decisions and guesses about the consequences of our actions. But we should be wary of looking to history for dogmatic lessons. We should distrust those who abuse history when they call on it to justify unreasonable claims to land, for example, or restitution. MacMillan illustrates how dangerous history can be in the hands of nationalistic or religious or ethnic leaders who use it to foster a sense of grievance and a desire for revenge.