the lessons of history...

We recently read Stephen O'Shea's, The Alps, A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond. The writer looks at the history, culture and landscape that comprises this complex part of the Europe. We found one of the author's entries particularly relevant in his assessment of the history and conflict in the region:

"Embracing the irrational can lead to desparately dangerous thinking. Nature can be over idealized, and a reinvented past can be twisted out of recognition to serve a dark purpose. Nationalism, if excessive, can lead to xenophobia and war. And emotion can chase reason out into the wilderness."