Massachusetts

Dream team of historians proposed to advise US president

  • FILE--In this Feb. 5, 2013 file photo, Graham Allison, Professor of Government at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, listens during an event in Boston. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

    FILE--In this Feb. 5, 2013 file photo, Graham Allison, Professor of Government at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, listens during an event in Boston. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE--In this Feb. 5, 2013 file photo, Graham Allison, Professor of Government at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, speaks during an event in Boston. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

    FILE--In this Feb. 5, 2013 file photo, Graham Allison, Professor of Government at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, speaks during an event in Boston. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE--In this Jan. 31, 2011 file photo, Niall Ferguson, Harvard University Professor of History, laughs during a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)

    FILE--In this Jan. 31, 2011 file photo, Niall Ferguson, Harvard University Professor of History, laughs during a meeting at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid. Imagine a dream team of the nation's top historians, recruited by the White House to advise the president on major decisions. That's the idea being pitched by two Harvard University scholars who allege that many U.S. leaders know alarmingly little about history, both in their own country and in others. Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two Harvard scholars say the next U.S. president should recruit a team of top historians to help make major decisions.

Professors Graham Allison and Niall Ferguson say leaders from the Republican and Democratic parties know alarmingly little about history, both of their own country and of others. They're calling on the next U.S. president to create a Council of Historical Advisers that would tackle present problems by looking to the past.

The scholars say the council could glean lessons from the past to help address issues ranging from terrorism to the economy.

Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not immediately say whether they support the idea.

Some critics question whether academics could keep up with the pace of the White House, or if the president would listen to their advice.