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"Reading history is good for all of us," he says, not surprisingly, perhaps, but his rationale is a fresh, somewhat bracing thought: "If you know history, you know that there is no such thing as a self-made man or self-made woman. We are shaped by people we have never met. Yes, reading history will make you a better citizen and more appreciative of the law, and of freedom, and of how the economy works or doesn't work, but it is also an immense pleasurethe way art is, or music is, or poetry is. And it's never stale.""