It’s interesting to note the zeal with which many pursue revision in history. It is not so much that the truth is there but rather that the truth as one sees it reflected in their own time period. This, to my mind, is the cardinal sin of the study of as well as the teaching of history. Certainly, revision after newly discovered evidence (fact) is needed and, dare I say, necessary. To bring more light on a subject that heretofore was darkened is never to be frowned upon. The revisionist sin, however, is to shed a different light where one was not needed, that would reflect one’s own personal view of a historical event, as reflected in the morals of the modern period. This is to provide a judgment on a topic with a different moral compass based on the time period that the event occurred. Would it be fair to judge a person based on the morality of the parents? Is this not the same thing simply applied to history? We should strive as historians to present history as fact, without bias of experience or time. This is the goal that should be set for all teachers of history. To be sure, presentation of material without bias is difficult, but should certainly be what we strive to do as we study this tapestry that makes up the human experience.
I’m rather bemused by the pundits and politicians who are exercising their supposed moral high ground as they chastise Jeff