To write a history of the present is an inherently difficult task. The documentary and anecdotal records are fragmentary as best, contradictory at worst. The author’s memory of recent events is fresh but often raw. Detached analysis of the relative significance of these events is almost impossible when their consequences are not yet fully apparent. The recent past has not even begun to recede toward that vanishing point where “events” end and “history” begins.Subscribe or Log In to read more.