Understanding of "distant past" key to modern civilization

Tom Holland, author of Rubicon and Persian Fire defends classical education in an article for Britain's The Guardian. Holland feels the study of the Greeks and Romans is necessary to understand modern democracy.

From the article:

"In modern schools, of course, history tends to mean Hitler. A simple lesson is served up to students on a plate: fascism is bad. The political and moral ambiguities of classical history, which inspired Machiavelli and Shakespeare, Jefferson and Marx, barely intrude upon the classroom. Students who wish to study Greece and Rome - no less the bedrocks of our own civilisation now than in previous centuries - already find it difficult enough. Next year, however, they will find it impossible."