Dan Gordon
Daniel Gordon is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Initially educated in the field of European history, Gordon has translated Voltaire and written extensively about the era of the Enlightenment. In 2002, he went back to school to receive a master's degree in law from the Yale Law School. He now teaches courses in comparative law and U.S. Constitutional history, in addition to courses on European history. Gordon is co-editor of the journal Historical Reflections and offers this reflection of his own: "The challenge in academic life is to avoid extreme specialization. I like to say that I specialize in generalization--not that I know everything I would like to know, but I am intrigued by broad questions and comparisons. I also think the historian, even one who specializes in times long gone, must know the present, otherwise historical knowledge becomes pointless. Finally, I am fond of something Oscar Wilde said: ‘History doesn't repeat itself, historians just repeat each other!’ We all have a duty to think things through and not recycle old viewpoints.”
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