This is a collection of Professor Preston King's essays on the history of ideas. The title invokes the embeddedness of the past in, and the sly complexity of, what we call altogether too summarily the "present". These essays are united by a persistent concern with the philosophy of history, especially the history of ideas. They all emerge from an early view by King of the interpretation of past and present. This was a view in turn complemented and contradicted by those from whom King learnt most, located in or around the London School of Economics: Michael Oakeshott, Karl Popper and Isaiah Berlin. The author's concern, above all else, is to demonstrate the incoherence, even absurdity of the notion that the past can have nothing to teach us - whether mounted by those who argue that history is "unique" or that it is merely "contextual".