The Politics of History

Adesoji, Abimbola O (2019-07-09)

iii, pg1-46


Historical studies remain a mirror through which the society views its past such that the important lessons of the past are not lost. History also remains a potent weapon through which dictators are warned, deviants driven back on track and the sane or the responsible citizens kept on their toes or reminded to remain on the path of sanity. History thus remains relevant across time and space.1 The importance attached to History as a discipline perhaps informed the considerable efforts devoted to its study. These ranged from the appointment of court historians on hereditary basis in different African empires who sought to preserve dynastic stories,2 the emergence of local historians who sought to document the histories of their communities based on oral tradition without necessarily subjecting them to any rigorous analysis, aided as they were by their literacy skill, to the emergence of the Ibadan History School.3 Pertinent also is the translation of the history of important historical figures into plays or drama.4 Thus by simplifying or demystifying history, popularising it, creating awareness or promoting historical consciousness, historical scholarship has been promoted directly or indirectly, whether at the level of amateur or professional historians or even literary writers.