Today I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about history — both the history of the Middle East and the story that is consuming a lot of our politics in the US in these final weeks of 2023, as well as history generally, its centrality and sometimes its irrelevance.
I’m going to cover this in two ways. I’m going to give you a list of books that are helpful to understanding the origins of all of this. They’re both very good and helpful reads. They also shed some light on where I come from in all this because I come at this grounded in a specific part of the historiography and with my own set of personal and ideological commitments. The other part is my recent email conversation with fellow community member, TPM Reader ME. I’ll start with that.