About News Learning from History Feb 17, 2020 Learning from History On Andy McLeod’s Historic Matters podcast, Batten professor Gerry Warburg explores how lessons from the past can inspire the best policymaking for what’s to come. Professor Gerry Warburg in the classroom. In a time of deep political divisions, how does a public policy professor like Batten’s Gerry Warburg maintain a positive vision for the future? The answer lies with his students. “I liken them to first responders,” Warburg tells Historic Matters podcast host Andy McLeod. “These are the young people who are running toward the problem quite bravely.” In the two-part podcast, Warburg and McLeod cover everything from Warburg’s path to working in the U.S. Senate to the policy intricacies of the Cuban missile crisis. The frame for their conversation is Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest R. May’s book Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers. When it comes to policymaking, Warburg says, history teaches us to “avoid false analogies,” to remember what we’re assuming in any given situation, and to keep skeptics close at hand. The last item in that list might be the most difficult for today’s leaders to embrace. But Warburg says his students at Batten—many of whom have a passion for history—make him feel optimistic about the future. “We’re going to have to repair our parties because they don’t represent our core principles,” Warburg tells McLeod. “I think there are extraordinary lessons in the study of history that can inform us in that process.” Listen to episode one, "Gerry Warburg and the Uses and Misuses of History," and episode two, "Uses of History in the Classroom and Beyond." Gerald Warburg Warburg teaches courses at the Batten School on Congress, U.S. foreign policy and advocacy strategies. He is the lead faculty member in the Batten School massive open online course (MOOC) “Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century,” which is available on Coursera. Read full bio Related Content Gerald Warburg Dispatches from the Eastern Front: A Political Education from the Nixon Years to the Age of Obama Research A naïve undergraduate is transported from a small California town to the intensely competitive world of Capitol Hill policymaking. Gerald Felix Warburg’s memoir is not just a story about four decades in Washington, although a life spent as a House of Representatives and Senate staffer, and as a lobbyist and professor, provides remarkable insight into the struggles, the strategies, and the people of the U.S. capital. Nonprofileration Policy Crossroads Research On October 1, 2008, Congress enacted a proposal that originated with President George W. Bush in 2005 to approve an unprecedented nuclear trade pact with India by removing a central pillar of US nonproliferation policy. Despite the numerous political challenges confronting the Bush administration, the initiative won strong bipartisan support, including votes from Democratic Senators Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. President Ryan Speaks to Batten Students About the Current State of American Higher Education News There’s no denying the state of American higher education is at a crossroads. From front-page news of admissions scandals to politicians promising and demanding free education for all, American colleges and universities are being increasingly scrutinized—and for good reason. The University of Virginia is no exception. Post-Election Wrap Up with Craig Volden News On Monday, Nov. 12, Batten students gathered in the Great Hall of Garrett Hall for a post-election wrap-up led by Batten’s Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL). This was not a typical Batten Hour with the exception that food was served. Rather, the event was reminiscent of a game of musical chairs. Every eight minutes, students moved to a new table, where CEL Director Craig Volden, Operations Director Greer Kelly, CEL researchers and interns, along with Professor of Practice of Public Policy Gerald Warburg, discussed the implications of last Tuesday's midterm election results.