Dangerous Games by Margaret MacMillan (review by Ravi B. ’14)

Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of HistoryDangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History by Margaret MacMillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Dangerous Games, Margaret MacMillan presents history as an amalgamation of truth and manipulations. Although history is hardly ever accurate, it commands tremendous respect, allowing it to be a great tool of destruction and creation. The Chinese Communist Party, which once attempted to expunge a large amount of history, now embraces and celebrates Confucianism and the history of the Chinese Empire in order to equate patriotism with socialism. Additionally, history serves as a tremendous and often calamitous guide to decision making, in which the accuracy of the analogies is critical. Anthony Eden, a former British prime minister, compared Egyptian president Nasser to Hitler to justify rejection of the former’s demands. However, Hitler and Nasser were nothing alike. Nasser wanted a loan from the United States to build the Aswan Dam, whereas Hitler was looking to conquer his neighbors. MacMillan excites and informs the reader without losing sight of her argument. Anyone who enjoys learning about history and its role will love Dangerous Games. – Ravi B. ‘14

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