Word Frequency and Historiography

ReactionaryThought

It is an axiom of historiography that the older an event, the less likely it is to be a topic of current publishing.

This makes sense, as events that are chronologically remote have less and less significance to the living the more they recede into the distant past.

Here’s an Ngram charting the frequency of “the Lusitania” in books published in English between 1800 and 2008 and scanned by Google. It indicates precisely what one would expect.
NgramLus

And here’s another Ngram, this one for the frequency of “the Holocaust” in books published in English between 1800 and 2008 and scanned by Google.
NgramHol

A made for TV miniseries called “Holocaust” aired on US television in April of 1978.

We tell stories about the past in order to influence the allocation of resources in the present. It’s that simple.

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