Why Don't We Learn From History

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Why Don't We Learn From History

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Writing history is a complex endeavor. Primary sources frequently include factual errors due to the author’s beliefs and imperfect memory. Sensitive documents are altered or go missing. Socio-political context and culture often influence how people perceive the events they write about. Thus, we must question the objectivity of any written history. What is the document’s purpose? How is the history used? Who benefits from it, and who is left out of consideration? In this book from 1944, Hart challenges readers to evaluate history objectively, for future progress depends on making decisions informed by the past.

“Hart wrote this little book about military matters, but its arguments can be extended much more broadly, in fact, to all facets of human life that make use of an accurate knowledge of what went before.”

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