Nearly a hundred and thirty years after his death and 190 years after his birth on May 5, 1818, Karl Marx continues to exert enormous intellectual and practical influence across the world. The socialist future he so confidently predicted has not yet become the global reality that many had hoped it would. The capitalist mode of production that he diagnosed as crisis-prone and doomed to extinction in the course of further historical development dominates the contemporary world. The early attempts at establishing a socialist society have faced exceptionally difficult problems in a predominantly capitalist/imperialist world. Yet, none of these facts can be seen as rendering Marx irrelevant or as diminishing the power and vitality of his theory and vision. Why?
The Marxist historian friend of the peoples of the world.
In Damascus, a massive statue of the late President Hafez al-Assad sits on a mighty iron chair outside the 22,000sq m Assad Library, a giant book open in his right hand.
Behind him lie the archives of his dictatorship. But not a single state paper is open to the people of Syria. There are no archives from the foreign ministry or the interior ministry or the defence ministry. There is no 30-year rule – for none is necessary. The rule is for ever. There is no Public Record Office in the Arab world, no scholars waiting outside the National Archives.
History needs to be defended against those who deny its capacity to help us understand the world, and because new developments in the sciences have transformed the historiographical agenda. Says Eric Hobsbawm.
No one is more surprised than Shlomo Sand that his latest academic work has spent 19 weeks on Israel's bestseller list -- and that success has come to the history professor despite his book challenging Israel's biggest taboo.
Dr. Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation -- whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel -- is a myth invented little more than a century ago.
D D Kosambi enjoys a unique international identity as a brilliant, profound and original scholar who straddled many fields of knowledge where he made multiple scholarly contributions. This essay, written by daughter Meera, outlines the vastness of his intellectual canvas, provides a short biographical sketch and also describes some facets of a fascinating personality. The article is courtesy, Economic and Political Weekly, which has published a series on DD Kosambi's birth centenary.
If historical knowledge is to be meaningful, then the past has to be understood and explained. It is not enough just to get information from a source, whether it is an archaeological artefact or a text. It also has to be interpreted. This requires asking a number of questions about its authorship, function, audience and significance – and, above all, about its reliability as evidence. This is particularly called for in the study of ancient history, since its very remoteness in time makes it difficult to grasp. There can be a thin line between what we like to believe happened and what the evidence is actually telling us.
Courtesy: Himal South Asian