This article from the magazine section of the BBC website discusses it with energy and style. It is really a version of the old “what is the point of a history degree ?” enquiry that those of us who teach A Level have to deal with every year.
Sarah Dunant’s reply is excellent. It starts thus…
“As far as one can tell the thinking goes like this: the study of history, English, philosophy or art doesn’t really help anyone get a job and does not contribute to the economy to the same degree that science or engineering or business studies obviously do.
Well, let’s run a truck though that fast shall we?…”
Have a read and see what you think.
Oh and just so it doesn’t get lost, she concludes, “History. Any society that doesn’t pay proper attention to it not only has dangerously shallow roots, but also risks starving its own imagination.” That’s not a million miles away from what Eric Hobsbawm said in the previous post.