The appropriation of history

The appropriation of history

The appropriation of history

event Saturday, September 28, 2024 schedule 9.00am - 9.45am BST
event Saturday, September 28, 2024 schedule 9.00am - 9.45am BST
  • The History Makers front cover
How governments throughout the world are dictating how to write about the past
In-person at Sidgwick | £15
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Sidgwick Site | View details

Throughout the world - from Brazil to China, Turkey to Poland, North Korea to the Vatican - governments are using history to support and advance their agendas.  

Shaping the past to project a particular national image has gone on for millennia; but recently, the way that history is taught, what is studied, and the way people of all ages are told to think about the past has become more closely controlled than ever before. 

Richard Cohen has written about the battle between history and national mythmaking in his critically acclaimed book ‘Making History’. Now he extends his analysis to the way history is being treated in Russia, Japan, and the United States, and examines what is happening to the way these countries view the past, and what can be done to protect and promote the study of history in its fullest and least biased way. 


Richard Cohen (Magdalene 1965)

Photograph of Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen (Magdalene 1965) is the former publishing director of Hutchinson and Hodder & Stoughton and the founder of Richard Cohen Books. Five times U.K. national sabre champion, he was selected for the British Olympic fencing team in 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984.

Richard is the author of “Chasing the Sun”, “By the Sword”, “How to Write Like Tolstoy” and “Making History”. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and most British newspapers. He was also Programme Director of the Cheltenham Literary Festival 1992-3.

Reading list

Making History (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Booking information

In-person lectures at the Sidgwick Site as part of Alumni Festival cost £15 per person.



Sidgwick Site
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Alumni Festival Team