Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Sir John Glubb, The Fate of Empires

Sir John Glubb, The Fate of Empires

Ratings: (0)|Views: 10 |Likes:
Published by maivin2

More info:

Published by: maivin2 on Sep 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





John Bagot Glubb was born in
, his father being a regular of 
cer in the Royal Engineers. At the age of four he left England for Mauritius, where his father was posted for a three-yeartour of duty. At the age of ten he was sent to school for a year in Switzerland. These youthfultravels may have opened his mind to the outside world at an early age.He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in September
, and wascommissioned in the Royal Engineers in April
. He served throughout the
rst World Warin France and Belgium, being wounded three times and awarded the Military Cross. In
he volunteered for service in Iraq, as a regular of 
cer, but in
resigned his commission andaccepted an administrative post under the Iraq Government.In
, however, he signed a contract to serve the Transjordan Government (now Jordan).From
he commanded the famous Jordan Arab Legion, which was in reality theJordan Army. Since his retirement he has published seventeen books, chie
 y on the MiddleEast, and has lectured widely in Britain, the United States and Europe.
 William Blackwood & Sons Ltd
Thistle StreetEdinburgh EH
HA Scotland© J. B. G. Ltd,
 Printed at the Press of the Publisher
 As we pass through life, we learn by experience. We look back on our behaviour when we were young and think how foolish we were. In the same way our family, ourcommunity and our town endeavour to avoidthe mistakes made by our predecessors.The experiences of the human race have been recorded, in more or less detail, forsome four thousand years. If we attempt tostudy such a period of time in as many countries as possible, we seem to discoverthe same patterns constantly repeated under widely differing conditions of climate,culture and religion. Surely, we ask ourselves, if we studied calmly andimpartially the history of human institutionsand development over these four thousand years, should we not reach conclusions which would assist to solve our problemstoday? For everything that is occurringaround us has happened again and again before.No such conception ever appears to haveentered into the minds of our historians. Ingeneral, historical teaching in schools islimited to this small island. We endlessly mull over the Tudors and the Stewarts, theBattle of Crecy, and Guy Fawkes. Perhapsthis narrowness is due to our examinationsystem, which necessitates the carefulde
nition of a syllabus which all childrenmust observe.I remember once visiting a school formentally handicapped children. “Ourchildren do not have to take examinations,"the headmaster told me,” and so we are ableto teach them things which will be really useful to them in life."However this may be, the thesis which I wish to propound is that priceless lessonscould be learned if the history of the pastfour thousand years could be thoroughly andimpartially studied. In these two articles, which
rst appeared in
 Blackwood’s Magazine
, I have attempted brie
 y to sketchsome of the kinds of lessons which I believe we could learn. My plea is that history should be the history of the human race, notof one small country or period.
The Fate of Empires
 Learning from history
‘The only thing we learn from history,’ ithas been said, ‘is that men never learn fromhistory’, a sweeping generalisation perhaps, but one which the chaos in the world today goes far to con
rm. What then can be thereason why, in a society which claims toprobe every problem, the bases of history arestill so completely unknown?Several reasons for the futility of ourhistorical studies may be suggested.First, our historical work is limited to shortperiods—the history of our own country, orthat of some past age which, for somereason, we hold in respect.Second, even within these short periods,the slant we give to our narrative is governed by our own vanity rather than by objectivity.If we are considering the history of our owncountry, we write at length of the periods when our ancestors were prosperous and victorious, but we pass quickly over theirshortcomings or their defeats. Our peopleare represented as patriotic heroes, theirenemies as grasping imperialists, orsubversive rebels. In other words, ournational histories are propaganda, not well- balanced investigations.Third, in the sphere of world history, westudy certain short, usually unconnected,periods, which fashion at certain epochs hasmade popular. Greece
years beforeChrist, and the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire are cases in point. Theintervals between the ‘great periods’ areneglected. Recently Greece and Rome have become largely discredited, and history tendsto become increasingly the parochial history of our own countries.To derive any useful instruction fromhistory, it seems to me essential
rst of all tograsp the principle that history, to bemeaningful, must be the history of thehuman race. For history is a continuousprocess, gradually developing, changing andturning back, but in general moving forwardin a single mighty stream. Any useful lessonsto be derived must be learned by the study of the whole
ow of human development, not by the selection of short periods here andthere in one country or another.Every age and culture is derived from itspredecessors, adds some contribution of itsown, and passes it on to its successors. If we boycott various periods of history, theorigins of the new cultures which succeededthem cannot be explained. _______________________________
 Sir John Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha, was born in
, and served in France in the First World War from
. In
he left the regular army toserve the Iraq Government. From
, he commanded the famous Jordan Arab Legion. Since retirement, he has published sixteen books, chiefly on the Middle East, and has lectured widely.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->