Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reflecting on History

I didn’t care much for history when I was in high school.  Who cared about what happened in the past?  That was sooooo long ago.

I’ve discovered that now that I’ve lived a bit of history, I really quite like it.  This revelation came to me in college – the second time – in Engineering 101 class.  I was giving a presentation to the class on the changes in technology over the past 90 years, and as a part of the presentation I shared my own experience watching the lunar landing in 1969.  As I spoke about watching the landing on TV and hearing the words of Neil Armstrong, I realized that the room was silent and that every eye in the room was on me.  I had them!  I even got applause.
My favorite way to get my history “fix” these days is to read historically-based novels, in particular those of my favorite historical fiction author, Ken Follett.  I learned about the Danish resistance in WWII in Hornet Flight.  I learned about the war in Afghanistan in Lie Down with Lions.  I learned how cathedrals were built in Pillars of the Earth.   Currently reading Fall of Giants, and with half the book down, I now know more about WWI than I ever had before.

I want to write like this.  I want people to view history through the eyes of the people living it. 

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