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World War I was not inevitable, as many historians say. It could have been avoided, and it was a diplomatically botched negotiation.
World War I
People take the longest possible paths, digress to numerous dead ends, and make all kinds of mistakes. Then historians come along and write summaries of this messy, nonlinear process and make it appear like a simple, straight line.
Part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians, poets, and artists, and zoologists, and historians. They also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world. But if it hadn't been computer science, these people would have been doing amazing things in other fields.
Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war.
It may seem unfashionable to say so, but historians should seize the imagination as well as the intellect. History is, in a sense, a story, a narrative of adventure and of vision, of character and of incident. It is also a portrait of the great general drama of the human spirit.
Nations without a past are contradictions in terms. What makes a nation is the past, what justifies one nation against others is the past, and historians are the people who produce it.
Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.
History should not be left to the historians. Rather, be like Churchill. Make history, and then write it.
As historians, we spend days in archives, gazing at account books. We train would-be historians in the arts of deciphering letters and documents, early Latin, scribal handwriting, medieval French.
Intellectual honesty is the quality that the public in free countries always has expected of historians; much more than that it does not expect, nor often get.
Samuel E. Morison
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Reviewers are usually people who would have been, poets, historians, biographer, if they could. They have tried their talents at one thing or another and have failed; therefore they turn critic.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All historians generalize from particulars. And often, if you look at a historian's footnotes, the number of examples of specific cases is very, very small.
Henry Louis Gates
There are one or two very good women military historians who use imagination, great study and research; they can put themselves in the boots of the soldier.
There are few historians who would challenge the fact that the funding of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War was accomplished by the Mandrake Mechanism through the Federal Reserve System.
G. Edward Griffin
Aging nations have arteries clogged with obsolete laws, slowing blood flow and preventing oxygen from reaching all parts of the body politic. Physicians call this arteriosclerosis; historians see decline of empire.
If historians don't tell stories at the scales of creation myths, someone else will.
Half of the modern world goes back as far as Pearl Jam. The real historians go back to U2. But they need to go back further. They have to go back to the '50s and '60s, where things started. That's how you get to be your own personality, by studying the masters. Rock and roll was white kids trying to make black music and failing, gloriously!
Steven Van Zandt
History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other.
History Repeats Itself
Now, there are some who would like to rewrite history - revisionist historians is what I like to call them.
George W. Bush
Study men, not historians.
Harry S Truman
My opinion is that politicians should be humble in the face of history. And whenever history is a matter of debate, it should be left in the hands of historians and experts.
God cannot alter the past, though historians can.
Scientists disagree among themselves but they never fight over their disagreements. They argue about evidence or go out and seek new evidence. Much the same is true of philosophers, historians and literary critics.
Saddam Hussein could have provided irreplaceable help to future historians of the Iran/Iraq war, of the invasion of Kuwait, and of the subsequent era of sanctions culminating in the current invasion.
No, this customary aim of research by excavators is completely foreign to the historical work with which I am occupied... my sole and only aim is to be able to establish a historical fact, on which I disagree with some eminent historians and geographers.
History had its own way of explaining things. The way historians explain things is by telling a story.
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