Origins of Presentism, review by William Anthony Hay
Our Shadowed Present: Modernism, Postmodernism, and History, by J.C.D. Clark, Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2004. 336 pp.
HISTORY RETAINS A PROFOUND HOLD on the human imagination as individuals and societies alike define themselves by coming to terms with their past. Today, however, a general shift in assumptions about the role of the past in the developed world has changed the relationship of cultures with their history. Events are now located only in the present tense. Having lost touch with a history that provided meaning, Western societies now grapple confusedly with questions of identity.