"No Sense of History" is a collection of some twenty essays written over the last decade by Glenn Young dealing with current issues, looked at from a historical perspective. In general throughout the essays, Mr. Young argues that our current lack of collective memory of history, beyond the myths of history, greatly limits our understanding of the present and our options concerning current issues.
He also argues that religion plays too great a role in determining what history is presented and how it is presented in this culture. This religious censorship again prevents modern people from knowing the "real" past and also colors our views of other peoples' history based on our particular religion.
Some of the essays deal with the development of the United States, and the impact such things as slavery. But these essays take economic historical views that are far different than other such evaluations, and present conclusions that are not often observed by others.
Other essays look at the issues of terror in the modern society, but again uses historical vantage points to give a view of how these current acts of terror fit into a historical pattern often ignored by current media and current evaluators of such issues.
Young also has several essays dealing with the question of how religion is currently being used for political purposes and also questions how functional religion really is in modern society. He uses some humorous approaches that avoids the traditional conflicts in essays on religion (religion is either good or not good) and looks more at the how the "old time religion" fits into a modern world. He offers a humorous essay with an effort to define a modern view of heaven that is more socially representative of a democratic society, rather than one based on the authoritarian views that represented the political framework of the society when our current views of heaven were established. He also offers an essay suggesting how religious fundamentalist would be evaluated based on the DSM5
Some of the essays are based on events from Mr. Young's life. He tells of his almost meeting Bill Gates and his personal confrontation with the Pope, and recently attending a rock concert of a group from the 1960's, but greatly expands these events so the essays become something that looks at these moments through the historical process that led to the occurrences.
His essays also ask serious questions as to the inability of the US to appreciate the values and aspirations of other nations, simple because the US has never suffered the extensive tragic events which have impacted these other places. Without the understanding the historic backgrounds of these nations, we continue to make wrong assumptions about them, which has often led to tragic unneeded wars and tensions. He also argues that the US view of itself, especially in time of crisis, is often vastly overstated, when compared to the trials of other nations.
Throughout the essays is a level of both reality and extensive facts that are not well known in current society. However, the essays are not bombastic or stilted, and are often presented with an underlying humor. The language is clear and highly readable. These essays are designed not just for academics or historians, but for the people who most may need the perspective presented here, the general public.
Mr. Young has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington, and has worked on issues of social and political justice through his formal work career, while in and out of government. He has also traveled extensively and was a noted public speaker on a wide range of issues concerning the rights of persons with Learning Disabilities and ADHD.