After a generation steeped in dates without meaning, the present fashion of historical education is “unit studies” which give — to the period of choice — every possible dimension except one: its relationship to other historical periods far removed in time. In this way, a study that is meant to be broad and wholistic becomes another kind of very small adventure. Well-conceived unit studies have a solid place in education, but education in history means precisely: identifying the place of each unit of history within the whole: within the span of human life on earth.
With the comprehensive view missing, history seems merely the study of the past, any past, like those antique stores that truthfully advertise their wares: Antiques and Jun- que.
This is not sufficient, and not even interesting for most people. Historical education must at some point portray the broad sweep of history, the context for, and thus the significance of, every event of the rise and fall of culture.