Braveheart Lied to Us

Many of the traditions we hold dear are less traditional than you might think.

Illustration by Rob en Robin

In his landmark 1983 essay “The Invention of Tradition,” historian Eric Hobsbawm writes of “practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behavior by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past.” He calls these practices “invented traditions,” […]

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