Wisconsin Magazine of History

Letter from the Editor

N THESE STRANGE WEEKS of preparing this issue amidst a global pandemic, I’ve been pondering this: when does the past become most relevant to the present? Change, whether expected or not, begs comparison; it can elicit a deep desire to understand the hows and whys that led to It is ironic, then, that the greatest historic precedent for today’s pandemic, the 1918 flu, has been largely ignored by history. Whether this amnesia is the result of the crisis being overshadowed by World War I or because those who survived it simply didn’t wish to revisit this bleak period is a question for historians. (Certainly, history on the war has not suffered the same fate.)

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