Historic recurrence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mark Twain: "[A] favorite theory of mine [is] that no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often."[1]

Historic recurrence is the repetition of similar events in history.[a][b] The concept of historic recurrence has variously been applied to overall human history (e.g., to the rises and falls of empires), to repetitive patterns in the history of a given polity, and to any two specific events which bear a striking similarity.[4]

Hypothetically, in the extreme, the concept of historic recurrence assumes the form of the Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, which has been written about in various forms since antiquity and was described in the 19th century by Heinrich Heine[c] and Friedrich Nietzsche.[d]

While it is often remarked that "history repeats itself", in cycles of less than cosmological duration this cannot be strictly true.[e] In this interpretation of recurrence, as opposed perhaps to the Nietzschean interpretation, there is no metaphysics. Recurrences take place due to ascertainable circumstances and chains of causality.[f]

An example is the ubiquitous phenomenon of multiple independent discovery in science and technology, described by Robert K. Merton and Harriet Zuckerman. Indeed, recurrences, in the form of reproducible findings obtained through experiment or observation, are essential to the natural and social sciences; and, in the form of observations rigorously studied via the comparative method and comparative research, are essential to the humanities.

G.W. Trompf, in his book The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, traces historically recurring patterns of political thought and behavior in the west since antiquity.[4] If history has lessons to impart, they are to be found par excellence in such recurring patterns.

Historic recurrences of the "striking-similarity" type can sometimes induce a sense of "convergence", "resonance" or déjà vu.[g]



Ancient western thinkers who had thought about recurrence had largely been concerned with cosmological rather than historic recurrence (see "eternal return", or "eternal recurrence").[10] Western philosophers and historians who have discussed various concepts of historic recurrence include the Greek Hellenistic historian Polybius (ca 200 – ca 118 BCE), the Greek historian and rhetorician Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60 BCE – after 7 BCE), Luke the Evangelist, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527), Giambattista Vico (1668–1744), Correa Moylan Walsh (1862—1936), Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975).[4]

An eastern concept that bears a kinship to western concepts of historic recurrence is the Chinese concept of the Mandate of Heaven, by which an unjust ruler will lose the support of Heaven and be overthrown.[11] In the Islamic World, Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) wrote that Asabiyyah (social cohesion or group unity) plays an important role in a kingdom's or dynasty's cycle of rise and fall.[12]

G.W. Trompf describes various historic paradigms of historic recurrence, including paradigms that view types of large-scale historic phenomena variously as "cyclical"; "fluctuant"; "reciprocal"; "re-enacted"; or "revived".[13] He also notes "[t]he view proceeding from a belief in the uniformity of human nature [Trompf's emphasis]. It holds that because human nature does not change, the same sort of events can recur at any time."[14] "Other minor cases of recurrence thinking," he writes, "include the isolation of any two specific events which bear a very striking similarity [his emphasis], and the preoccupation with parallelism [his emphasis], that is, with resemblances, both general and precise, between separate sets of historical phenomena."[14]


Arnold J. Toynbee

G.W. Trompf notes that most western concepts of historic recurrence imply that "the past teaches lessons for... future action"—that "the same... sorts of events which have happened before... will recur..."[7] One such recurring theme was early offered by Poseidonius (a Greek polymath, native to Apamea, Syria; c. 135–51 BCE), who argued that dissipation of the old Roman virtues had followed the removal of the Carthaginian challenge to Rome's supremacy in the Mediterranean world.[15] The theme that civilizations flourish or fail according to their responses to the human and environmental challenges that they face, would be picked up two thousand years later by Toynbee.[16] Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60 BCE – after 7 BCE), while praising Rome at the expense of her predecessors[h]Assyria, Media, Persia, and Macedonia—anticipated Rome's eventual decay. He thus implied the idea of recurring decay in the history of world empires—an idea that was to be developed by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE) and by Pompeius Trogus, a 1st-century BCE Roman historian from a Celtic tribe in Gallia Narbonensis.[18]

By the late 5th century, Zosimus (also called "Zosimus the Historian"; fl. 490s–510s: a Byzantine historian who lived in Constantinople) could see the writing on the Roman wall, and asserted that empires fell due to internal disunity. He gave examples from the histories of Greece and Macedonia. In the case of each empire, growth had resulted from consolidation against an external enemy; Rome herself, in response to Hannibal's threat posed at Cannae, had risen to great-power status within a mere five decades. With Rome's world dominion, however, aristocracy had been supplanted by a monarchy, which in turn tended to decay into tyranny; after Augustus Caesar, good rulers had alternated with tyrannical ones. The Roman Empire, in its western and eastern sectors, had become a contending ground between contestants for power, while outside powers acquired an advantage. In Rome's decay, Zosimus saw history repeating itself in its general movements.[19]

The ancients developed an enduring metaphor for a polity's evolution, drawing an analogy between an individual human's life cycle and developments undergone by a body politic: this metaphor was offered, in varying iterations, by Cicero (106–43 BCE), Seneca (c. 1 BCE – 65 CE), Florus (c. 74 CE – ca 130 CE), and Ammianus Marcellinus (between 325 and 330 CE – after 391 CE).[20] This social-organism metaphor, which has been traced back to the Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle (384–322 BCE),[21] would recur centuries later in the works of the French philosopher and sociologist Auguste Comte (1798–1857), the English philosopher and polymath Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), and the French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917).[21]

Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli, analyzing the state of Florentine and Italian politics between 1434 and 1494, described recurrent oscillations between "order" and "disorder" within states:[22]

when states have arrived at their greatest perfection, they soon begin to decline. In the same manner, having been reduced by disorder and sunk to their utmost state of depression, unable to descend lower, they, of necessity, reascend, and thus from good they gradually decline to evil and from evil mount up to good.[22]

Machiavelli accounts for this oscillation by arguing that virtù (valor and political effectiveness) produces peace, peace brings idleness (ozio), idleness disorder, and disorder rovina (ruin). In turn, from rovina springs order, from order virtù, and from this, glory and good fortune.[22] Machiavelli, as had the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, saw human nature as remarkably stable—steady enough for the formulation of rules of political behavior. Machiavelli wrote in his Discorsi:

Whoever considers the past and the present will readily observe that all cities and all peoples... ever have been animated by the same desires and the same passions; so that it is easy, by diligent study of the past, to foresee what is likely to happen in the future in any republic, and to apply those remedies that were used by the ancients, or not finding any that were employed by them, to devise new ones from the similarity of events.[23]

Statue of Ibn Khaldun, Tunis, Tunisia

In 1377 the Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun, in his Muqaddima (or Prolegomena), wrote that when nomadic tribes become united by asabiyyaArabic for "group feeling", "social solidarity", or "clannism"—their superior cohesion and military prowess puts urban dwellers at their mercy. Inspired often by religion, they conquer the towns and create new regimes. But within a few generations, writes Ibn Khaldun, the victorious tribesmen lose their asabiyya and become corrupted by luxury, extravagance, and leisure. The ruler, who can no longer rely on fierce warriors for his defense, will have to raise extortionate taxes to pay for other sorts of soldiers, and this in turn may lead to further problems that result in the eventual downfall of his dynasty or state.[24][i]

Joshua S Goldstein suggests that empires, analogously to an individual's midlife crisis, experience a political midlife crisis: after a period of expansion in which all earlier goals are realized, overconfidence sets in, and governments are then likely to attack or threaten their strongest rival; Goldstein cites four examples: the British Empire and the Crimean War; the German Empire and the First World War; the Soviet Union and the Cuban Missile Crisis; the United States and the Vietnam War.[25] Suggestions that the European Union is suffering a political midlife crisis have been put forward by Gideon Rachman (2010), Roland Benedikter (2014), and Natalie Nougayrède (2017).

David Hackett Fischer has identified four waves in European history, each of some 150–200 years' duration. Each wave begins with prosperity, leading to inflation, inequality, rebellion and war, and resolving in a long period of equilibrium. For example, 18th-century inflation led to the Napoleonic wars and later the Victorian equilibrium.[26]

Sir Arthur Keith's theory of a species-wide amity-enmity complex suggests that human conscience evolved as a duality: people are driven to protect members of their in-group, and to hate and fight enemies who belong to an out-group. Thus an endless, useless cycle of ad hoc "isms" arises.[27]


One of the recurrence patterns identified by G.W. Trompf involves "the isolation of any two specific events which bear a very striking similarity".[7] The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana observed that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."[28] Karl Marx, having in mind the respective coups d'état of Napoleon I (1799) and his nephew Napoleon III (1851), wrote acerbically in 1852: "Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."[29]

However, Poland's Adam Michnik believes that history is not just about the past because it is constantly recurring, and not as farce, as Marx had it, but as itself: "The world", writes Michnik, "is full of inquisitors and heretics, liars and those lied to, terrorists and the terrorized. There is still someone dying at Thermopylae, someone drinking a glass of hemlock, someone crossing the Rubicon, someone drawing up a proscription list."[30]

Plutarch's Parallel Lives traces the similarities between pairs of a Roman and a Greek historical figure.[31]

Poland's Catholic Primate, Stanisław Szczepanowski, is murdered by his former friend, King Bolesław the Bold (1079); and England's Catholic Primate, Thomas Becket, is murdered at the behest of his former friend, King Henry II (1170).

Mongolian Emperor Kublai Khan's attempted conquest of Japan (1274, 1281) is frustrated by typhoons;[j] and Spanish King Philip II's 1588 attempted conquest of England is frustrated by a hurricane.

Hernán Cortes's fateful 1519 entry into Mexico's Aztec Empire is reputedly facilitated by the natives' identification of him with their god Quetzalcoatl, who had been predicted to return that very year; and English Captain James Cook's fateful 1778 entry into Hawaii, during the annual Makahiki festival honoring the fertility and peace god Lono, is reputedly facilitated by the natives' identification of Cook with Lono,[32] who had left Hawaii, promising to return on a floating island, evoked by Cook's ship under full sail.[33]

On 27 April 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in the Philippine Islands, foolhardily, with only four dozen men, confronts 1,500 natives who have defied his attempt to Christianize them and is killed.[34] On 14 February 1779, English explorer James Cook, on Hawaii Island, foolhardily, with only a few men, confronts the natives after some individuals have taken one of Cook's small boats, and Cook and four of his men are killed.[35]

Poland's Queen Jadwiga, dying in 1399, bequeaths her personal jewelry for the restoration of Kraków University (which will occur in 1400); and Leland Stanford's widow Jane Stanford attempts, after his 1893 death, to sell her personal jewelry to restore Stanford University's financial viability, ultimately bequeathing the jewelry to fund the purchase of books for Stanford University.[k]

In 1812 French Emperor Napoleon – born a Corsican outsider – is unprepared for an extended winter campaign, yet invades the Russian Empire, precipitating the fall of the French Empire; and in 1941 German Führer Adolf Hitler – born an Austrian outsider – is unprepared for an extended winter campaign, yet invades the Russian Empire's Soviet successor state (which is ruled by Joseph Stalin, born a Georgian outsider), thus precipitating the fall of the German Third Reich.[36]

Mahatma Gandhi works to liberate his compatriots by peaceful means and is shot dead; Martin Luther King Jr., works to liberate his compatriots by peaceful means and is shot dead.[37]

Over history, confrontations between peoples – typically, geographical neighbors – help consolidate the peoples into nations, at times into frank empires; until at last, exhausted by conflicts and drained of resources, the once militant polities settle into a relatively peaceful habitus.[38][l]

Polities ignore Jan Bloch's 1898 warnings of the railroad-mobilized, industrialized, stalemated, attritional total war, World War I, that is on the way and will destroy an appreciable part of mankind;[40] and polities ignore geologists', oceanographers', atmospheric scientists', biologists', and climatologists' warnings of the climate-change tipping point that is on course to destroy all of mankind.[41][m]

Humans tend to behave in accordance with the principles of social physics described by the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes after he had met the Italian physicist Galileo Galilei in 1636 in Florence.[43][44] Humans, empirically-minded, tend to doubt what has not been presented by their own senses or by unquestioned authorities, and inertly to not act unless compelled by circumstances. While it was clear from the laws of physics that rising levels of "greenhouse gases" in Earth's atmosphere must eventually cause disastrous climate warming, with consequently enhanced droughts, floods, forest fires, and cyclones,[45] people were easily lulled into complacency by the mendacities of fossil-fuel interests. Similarly, navies continue building aircraft carriers, at enormous expense, despite their clear vulnerability to attack, because their construction creates civilian jobs and because, says Stephen Wrage, political science teacher at the U.S. Naval Academy, "Historically, the top leadership of military organizations has not abandoned obsolete prestige weapons until compelled to do so by a calamity."[46]

People ignore warnings about the dangers of nuclear power plants[47] until anticipated nuclear power-plant accidents occur; and people ignore warnings about the dangers of nuclear weapons,[48][n][50] which in 1945 destroyed two Japanese cities, have on several occasions come close to destroying more of the world's cities, and could still do so in future.

The dangers of the fissile-fossil complex (nuclear-power generation and fossil-fueled power generation) have been denied or minimized by power interests, as the dangers of tobacco smoking have been denied or minimized by tobacco interests.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews, daughter of The Guns of August author Barbara Tuchman, observes that "[P]owerful reasons to doubt that there could be a limited nuclear war [include] those that emerge from any study of history, a knowledge of how humans act under pressure, or experience of government."[51] Apposite evidence for this is provided in Martin J. Sherwin's Gambling with Armageddon, which makes clear, on the basis of recently declassified documents, that it was a matter of sheer chance that war was averted during the Cuban Missile Crisis: numerous events, had they taken a slightly different course, could each have precipitated nuclear war.[52][o]

Martha Gellhorn

Fintan O'Toole writes about American war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (1908–1998):

Her dispatches were not first drafts of history; they were letters from eternity. [...] To see history – at least the history of war – in terms of people is to see it not as a linear process but as a series of terrible repetitions [...]. It is her ability to capture [...] the terrible futility of this sameness that makes Gellhorn's reportage so genuinely timeless. [W]e are [...] drawn [...] into the undertow of her distraught awareness that this moment, in its essence, has happened before and will happen again.[54]

Casey Cep, describing a dissonance between William Faulkner's documented personal racism and Faulkner's depiction of the American Confederacy, writes that Michael Gorra, in The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War ([Liveright, 2020),

posits that [the character] Quentin [Compson, who suicides in Absalom, Absalom!] represents Faulkner's view of tragedy as recurrence. "Again" was the saddest word for the character and the author alike because it "suggests that what was has simply gone on happening, a cycle of repetition that replays itself, forever."... "What was is never over," Gorra writes, pointing out that the racism that ensnared Faulkner in the last century persists in th[e 21st]... "Again. That's precisely why Faulkner remains so valuable – that very recurrence makes him necessary."[55]

Martin Amis

British novelist Martin Amis observes that recurring patterns of imperial ascendance-and-decline are mirrored in the novels published; according to Amis, novels follow current political trends. In the Victorian era, when Britain was the ascendant power, British novels were large and tried to express what society as a whole was. British power waned during the Second World War and ended after the war. The British novel was then some 225 pages long and centered on narrower subjects such as career setbacks or marriage setbacks: the British novel's "great tradition" increasingly looked depleted. Ascendance, according to Amis, had passed to the United States, and Americans such as Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, and John Updike began writing huge novels.[56]

Novelists and historians have discerned recurrent patterns in the histories of modern political tyrants.[57]

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez, in his novel The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), [...] create[d] a composite character: a mythical, unnamed autocrat who has held sway, seemingly forever, over an invented Caribbean country akin to Costaguana in Joseph Conrad's Nostromo. To portray him, García Márquez drew upon a motley cohort of Latin American caudillos [...] as well as Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco [...].[58]

Ruth Ben-Ghiat in Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present (2020), writes Ariel Dorfman, documents the "viral recurrence" around the world, over the past century, of despots and authoritarians "with comparable strategies of control and mendacity." Ben-Ghiat divides the narrative into three – at times, overlapping – periods:[59]

The era of fascist takeovers runs from 1919 and the ascent of Mussolini until Hitler's defeat in 1945, with Franco as the third member of this atrocious trio [... In] the next phase, the age of military coups (1950–1990) [t]he main representatives [...] are Pinochet, Muammar Qaddafi, and Mobutu Sese Seko, along with minor figures like Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, and Mohamed Siad Barre. Finally, starting in 1990 [is] the [...] cycle of new authoritarians, who win elections and proceed to degrade the democracy that brought them to power. Ben-Ghiat primarily dissects Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, with Viktor Orbán, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte, Narendra Modi, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan given perfunctory assessments.[60]

Dorfman notes the absence, from Ben-Ghiat's study, of many authoritarian rulers, including communists like Mao, Stalin, Ceaușescu, and the three Kims of North Korea. Nor is there mention of Indonesia's Suharto or the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, "though the CIA engineered coups that led to both [...] lording it over their lands, and the agency can also be linked to Pinochet's military putsch in Chile." Dorfman believes that Juan Domingo Perón would also have been an instructive example to include in Ruth Ben-Ghiat's study of Strongmen.[61]

British political commentator Ferdinand Mount brings attention to the ubiquitous recurrence of mendacity in politics: politicians lie to cover up their mistakes, to gain advantage over their opponents, or to achieve purposes that might be unpalatable or harmful to their public or to a foreign public. Some notable practitioners of political mendacity discussed by Mount include Julius Caesar, Cesare Borgia, Queen Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, Robert Clive, Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Tony Blair, Boris Johnson, and Donald Trump.[62]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mark Twain writes of "a favorite theory of mine—to wit, that no occurrence [Twain's emphasis] is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often." (A "repeat occurrence" is the definition of "recurrence".)[1] A similar thought of uncertain attribution has been ascribed to Twain: "History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes."[2]
  2. ^ Herman Melville, in his poetry, "declare[d a] belief... that all history is mere iteration ('Age after age shall be/As age after age has been')..."[3]
  3. ^ Philosopher Walter Kaufmann quotes Heinrich Heine: "[T]ime is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate numbers, and the numbers of the configurations which, all of themselves, are formed out of them are also determinate. Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations which have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again..."[5]
  4. ^ The concept of "eternal recurrence" is central to the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. It appears in The Gay Science and in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and also in a posthumous fragment. Walter Kaufmann suggests that Nietzsche may have encountered the concept in the writings of Heinrich Heine.[6]
  5. ^ G.W. Trompf writes: "The idea of exact recurrence... was rarely incorporated into... these views, for in the main they simply presume the recurrence of sorts of events, or... event-types, -complexes, and -patterns."[7]
  6. ^ In 1814 Pierre-Simon Laplace published an early articulation of causal or scientific determinism: "We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect, nothing would be uncertain and the future, just like the past, would be present before its eyes."[8] A similar view had earlier been presented in 1763 by Roger Boscovich.[9]
  7. ^ This sense is somewhat suggested, in popular culture, by the film Groundhog Day.
  8. ^ His was thus a quasi-exceptionalist view.[17]
  9. ^ Toynbee regarded Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima as "undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever been created by any mind in any time or place."[24]
  10. ^ The original kamikaze ("divine wind").
  11. ^ The Stanford University Museum of Art displays a painting of Jane Stanford's jewelry, commissioned prior to the jewelry's anticipated sale.
  12. ^ Victor Bulmer-Thomas writes: "Imperial retreat is not the same as national decline, as many other countries can attest. Indeed, imperial retreat can strengthen the nation-state just as imperial expansion can weaken it."[39]
  13. ^ On 8 October 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report stating that, if drastic changes in the global energy base and lifestyle are not made by about 2030—within a dozen years—civilization on planet Earth will become unsalvageable.[42]
  14. ^ Nuclear weapons continue to be equally hazardous to their owners as to their potential targets. Under the 1970 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, nuclear-weapon states are supposed to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons from the world.[49]
  15. ^ One of the many factors that fortuitously combined to avert Armageddon was President Kennedy's earlier experience involving Cuba: according to Ted Sorensen, after the fiasco of the Bay of Pigs invasion "he was more skeptical of the recommendations which came to him from the experts," most of whom now advised invading or bombing Cuba.[53]


  1. ^ a b Twain, Mark (1903). The Jumping Frog. Illustrated by F. Strothman. Harper & Bros. p. 64.
  2. ^ "History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes". Quote Investigator. January 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Helen Vendler, "'No Poetry You Have Read'" (review of Hershel Parker, ed., Herman Melville: Complete Poems, Library of America, 990 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVI, no. 19 (5 December 2019), pp. 29, 32–34. (Quotation from p. 32.)
  4. ^ a b c G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, passim.
  5. ^ Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 1959, p. 276.
  6. ^ Walter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, 1959, p. 276.
  7. ^ a b c G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 3.
  8. ^ Pierre-Simon Laplace, A Philosophical Essay, New York, 1902, p. 4.
  9. ^ Carlo Cercignani, chapter 2: "Physics before Boltzmann", in Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms, Oxford University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-19-850154-4, p. 55.
  10. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, pp. 6–15.
  11. ^ Elizabeth Perry, Challenging the Mandate of Heaven: Social Protest and State Power in China, Sharpe, 2002, ISBN 0-7656-0444-2, passim.
  12. ^ Ibn Khaldun. The Muqaddimah, translated by Franz Rosenthal.
  13. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, pp. 2–3 and passim.
  14. ^ a b G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 3 and passim.
  15. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 185.
  16. ^ Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, 12 volumes, Oxford University Press, 1934–61, passim.
  17. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 192.
  18. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, pp. 186–87.
  19. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, pp. 187–88.
  20. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, pp. 188–92.
  21. ^ a b George R. MacLay, The Social Organism: A Short History of the Idea that a Human Society May Be Regarded as a Gigantic Living Creature, North River Press, 1990, ISBN 0-88427-078-5, passim.
  22. ^ a b c G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 256.
  23. ^ G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 258.
  24. ^ a b Malise Ruthven, "The Otherworldliness of Ibn Khaldun" (review of Robert Irwin, Ibn Khaldun: An Intellectual Biography, Princeton University Press, 2018, ISBN 9780691174662, 243 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVI, no. 2 (February 7, 2019), p. 23.
  25. ^ Joshua S Goldstein, Long Cycles: Prosperity and War in the Modern Age, 1988, passim.
  26. ^ David Hackett Fischer, The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, Oxford University Press, 1996, passim.
  27. ^ Arthur Keith, A New Theory of Human Evolution, Watts, 1948, passim.
  28. ^ George Santayana, The Life of Reason, vol. 1: Reason in Common Sense, 1905.
  29. ^ The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852), in Marx Engels Selected Works, volume I, p. 398.
  30. ^ Paul Wilson, "Adam Michnik: A Hero of Our Time," The New York Review of Books, vol. LXII, no. 6 (April 2, 2015), p. 74.
  31. ^ James Romm, ed., Plutarch: Lives that Made Greek History, Hackett Publishing, 2012, p. vi.
  32. ^ Jenny Uglow, "Island Hopping" (review of Captain James Cook: The Journals, selected and edited by Philip Edwards, London, Folio Society, three volumes and a chart of the voyages, 1,309 pp.; and William Frame with Laura Walker, James Cook: The Voyages, McGill-Queen University Press, 224 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVI, no. 2 (February 7, 2019), p. 19 (total review: pp. 18–20).
  33. ^ Ross Cordy, Exalted Sits the Chief: The Ancient History of Hawai'i Island, Mutual Publishing, 2000, p. 61.
  34. ^ "The Death of Magellan, 1521". Eyewitnesstohistory.com. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  35. ^ Collingridge, Vanessa (2003). Captain Cook: The Life, Death and Legacy of History's Greatest Explorer. Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-188898-5., p. 410.
  36. ^ Englund, Steven (March 2006). "Napoleon and Hitler". Journal of the Historical Society. 6 (1): 151–169. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5923.2006.00171.x.
  37. ^ Morselli, Davide; Passini, Stefano (2010). "Avoiding crimes of obedience: A comparative study of the autobiographies of M. K. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr". Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. 16 (3): 295–319. doi:10.1080/10781911003773530. ISSN 1532-7949.
  38. ^ Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, New York, Random House, 1987, ISBN 0-394-54674-1, passim.
  39. ^ Jackson Lears, "Imperial Exceptionalism" (review of Victor Bulmer-Thomas, Empire in Retreat: The Past, Present, and Future of the United States, Yale University Press, 2018, ISBN 978-0-300-21000-2, 459 pp.; and David C. Hendrickson, Republic in Peril: American Empire and the Liberal Tradition, Oxford University Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0190660383, 287 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVI, no. 2 (February 7, 2019), pp. 8–10. (p. 10.)
  40. ^ Jan Bloch, Future war and its economic consequences, 1898.
  41. ^ Joshua Busby, "Warming World: Why Climate Change Matters More Than Anything Else", Foreign Affairs, vol. 97, no. 4 (July / August 2018), p. 54.
  42. ^ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, 8 October 2018.
  43. ^ George Croom Robertson, "Hobbes, Thomas", Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., vol. 13, 1911, pp. 545–552.,
  44. ^ Stewart Duncan, "Thomas Hobbes", in Edward N. Zalta, ed., The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2021 edition, Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 2021.
  45. ^ Please see the September 1970 Scientific American "Biosphere" issue, passim; and the September 1971 Scientific American "Energy and Power" issue, passim.
  46. ^ Timothy Noah, "Dead in the Water: Aircraft carriers are costly and vulnerable to attack. And they employ workers in more than 364 congressional districts", The New Republic, June 2023, pp. 7–9.
  47. ^ Sheldon Novick, The Careless Atom, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1969, passim
  48. ^ Thomas Powers, "The Nuclear Worrier" (review of Daniel Ellsberg, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, New York, Bloomsbury, 2017, ISBN 9781608196708, 420 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXV, no. 1 (18 January 2018), pp. 13–15.
  49. ^ Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Penguin Press, 2013, ISBN 1594202273. The book became the basis for a 2-hour 2017 PBS American Experience episode, likewise titled "Command and Control".
  50. ^ Laura Grego and David Wright, "Broken Shield: Missiles designed to destroy incoming nuclear warheads fail frequently in tests and could increase global risk of mass destruction", Scientific American, vol. 320, no. no. 6 (June 2019), pp. 62–67.
  51. ^ Jessica T. Mathews, "The New Nuclear Threat", The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVII, no. 13 (20 August 2020), pp. 19–21. (Quotation from p. 20.)
  52. ^ Elizabeth Kolbert, "This Close; The day the Cuban missile crisis almost went nuclear" (a review of Martin J. Sherwin's Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, New York, Knopf), The New Yorker, 12 October 2020, pp. 70–73.
  53. ^ Elizabeth Kolbert, "This Close; The day the Cuban missile crisis almost went nuclear" (a review of Martin J. Sherwin's Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, New York, Knopf), The New Yorker, 12 October 2020, p. 72.
  54. ^ Fintan O'Toole, "A Moral Witness" (review of Janet Somerville, ed., Yours, for Probably Always: Martha Gellhorn's Letters of Love and War, 1930–1949, Firefly, 528 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVII, no. 15 (8 October 2020), pp. 29–31. (Quotation, p. 31.)
  55. ^ Casey Cep, "Demon-driven: The bigoted views and brilliant fiction of William Faulkner", The New Yorker, 30 November 2020, pp. 87–91. (Quotation: p. 90.)
  56. ^ Sam Tanenhaus, "The Electroshock Novelist: The Alluring Bad Boy of Literary England Has Always Been Fascinated by Britain's Dustbin Empire. Now Martin Amis Takes On American Excess," Newsweek, July 2 & 9, 2012, p. 52.
  57. ^ Ariel Dorfman, "A Taxonomy of Tyrants" (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Norton, 2020, 358 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVIII, no. 9 (27 May 2021), pp. 25–27.
  58. ^ Ariel Dorfman, "A Taxonomy of Tyrants" (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Norton, 2020, 358 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVIII, no. 9 (27 May 2021), pp. 25–27. (Quotation, p. 25.)
  59. ^ Ariel Dorfman, "A Taxonomy of Tyrants" (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Norton, 2020, 358 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVIII, no. 9 (27 May 2021), pp. 25–27. (P. 25.)
  60. ^ Ariel Dorfman, "A Taxonomy of Tyrants" (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Norton, 2020, 358 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVIII, no. 9 (27 May 2021), pp. 25–27. (Quotation, p. 25.).
  61. ^ Ariel Dorfman, "A Taxonomy of Tyrants" (review of Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, Norton, 2020, 358 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXVIII, no. 9 (27 May 2021), pp. 25–27. (P. 26–27.)
  62. ^ * Ferdinand Mount, "Ruthless and Truthless" (review of Peter Oborne, The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism, Simon and Schuster, February 2021, ISBN 978 1 3985 0100 3, 192 pp.; and Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose, eds., Political Advice: Past, Present and Future, I.B. Tauris, February 2021, ISBN 978 1 83860 004 4, 240 pp.), London Review of Books, vol. 43, no. 9 (6 May 2021), pp. 3, 5–8.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Quotations related to Historic recurrence at Wikiquote