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What Is History? Here Are A Few Answers From Familiar Quotations

July 2024
1min read

All history is modern history.

—Wallace Stevens

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.

—Oscar Wilde

The history of the world is but the biography of great men.

—Thomas Carlyle

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.

—Abraham Lincoln

What experience and history teach is this—that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.

—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.

—Harry S. Truman

History … is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

—Edward Gibbon

I have no expectation that any man will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. … The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time.

—Francis Parkman

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

—H. G. Wells

There is no law of history any more than of a kaleidoscope.

—John Ruskin

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