Much can be learned about a country from its attitude toward history. Some nations revere the past, some seem indifferent, while others try to tamper with it. For the temptation that besets a tyrant is continually to rewrite the historical record. He not only insists on being infallible, he wants always to have been infallible. If he should change his mind, history must be revised accordingly—even it patriots must be portrayed as traitors, black described as white, and the truth reduced to a patchwork of lies.