Skip to main content

The Great Question

December 2023
1min read

I’ve had no “brushes” with history. One collision, of course. At the time, Pearl Harbor seemed a deliberate attempt by the Japanese to aim all of world history directly at myself. I survived. Lots of carryings-along, a sense of being hurried forward by events that I tried very hard, but not altogether successfully, to dignify with the shape of history. Even now, when I look back on what has happened, the great question that it poses to me is, What is “history” and what are simply events for which I can find no rationale, explanation, excuse, or justification? Perhaps that is what is meant by having “brushes” with history.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.