What is History?

“The only thing that’s new is the history you haven’t learned yet.” — Harry S. Truman

  • “To history has been assigned the office of judging the past, of instructing the present for the benefit of future ages.”  — Leopold von Ranke
  • “The man who does not study history is condemned to repeat it.” — Georges Santayana
  • “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.” — Erica Jong
  • “The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” — Nadia Boulanger
  • “All human histories are provisional; none will have the last word. …[A] democratic practice of history –one in which an ever-growing chorus of voices is heard– will depend upon objectivity, defined anew as a commitment to honest investigation, open process of research, and engaged public discussions of the meaning of historical facts.” — Dr. Joyce Appleby

Well, perhaps there is an exception:

“The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history…this century’s history…. We all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century.” Dan Quayle