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History Quotes

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					                              History Quotes
Instructions:
From this list of quotes, which quote do you find the most interesting? Explain
your answer by giving historical examples which prove its point.

Quotes:
If you do not like the past, change it - William L. Burton

History is that form which his imagination seeks comprehension of the living
existence of the world in relation to his own life, which he thereby invests with a
deeper reality - Oswald Spengler

History is more or less bunk - Henry Ford

Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past - Sigmund Freud

Every past is worth condemning - Nietzsche

Each age writes the history of the past with reference to the conditions
uppermost in its own time - Frederick Turner

What is past is prologue - William Shakespeare

Only strong personalities can endure history, the weak ones are extinguished by
it - Nietzsche

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and
catastrophe - H. G. Wells

The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves -
Cicero

History is a better guide than good intentions - Jeane Kirkpatrick

History knows no resting places and no plateaus - Henry Kissinger

The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life,
eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it - Milan
Kundera

In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and
like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself - Tolstoy
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last
priest - Denis Diderot

Legend - a lie that has attained the dignity of age - H. L. Mencken

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the
past - George Orwell

History: An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are
brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools - Ambrose
Bierce

History is Philosophy teaching by examples - Thucydides

Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to continue always a
child - Cicero

The first lesson of history is the good of evil - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it - Santayana

A nation which does not know what it was yesterday, does not know what it is
today, nor what it is trying to do - Woodrow Wilson

Peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on
principles deducible from it - G.W.F. Hegel

History is for human self-knowledge…Knowing yourself means knowing what you
can do; and since nobody knows what they can do until they try, the only clue to
what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it
teaches us what man has done and thus what man is - R. G. Collingwood

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have
exhausted all other alternatives - Abba Eban

Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. People have always been
like this - Gustave Flaubert

If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history
could not be written - Samuel Johnson

History is indeed the witness of the times, the light of truth - Cicero

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles - Karl
Marx
Fiction is history, human history, or it is nothing - Joseph Conrad

History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. . . .The quarrels of popes
and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for
nothing, and hardly any women at all - Jane Austen

History is the torch that is meant to illuminate the past to guard us against the
repetition of our mistakes of other days. We cannot join in the rewriting of history
to make it conform to our comfort and convenience - Claude Bowers

History does not repeat itself except in the minds of those who do not know
history - Kahlil Gibran

You have reckoned that history ought to judge the past and to instruct the
contemporary world as to the future. The present attempt does not yield to that
high office. It will merely tell how it really was - Leopold von Ranke

Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft - Winston
Churchill

An historian should yield himself to his subject, become immersed in the place
and period of his choice, standing apart from it now and then for a fresh view -
Samuel Eliot Morison

History shows us how many ways one subject can be viewed. We learn not to be
too contemptuous of mistakes made by historical figures who were trying to
accomplish something - John Eisenhower

To each eye the outlines of a great civilization present a different picture. In the
wide ocean upon which we venture, the possible ways and directions are
many…and lead to essentially different conclusions - Jacob Burckhardt

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality,
vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity
- Cicero

History is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of
the infinite variety of human experience…examples and warnings; fine things to
take as models, rotten things to avoid - Livy

What experience and history teach is this-that people and governments never
have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it -
Hegel
Everything must be recaptured and relocated in the general framework of history,
so that despite the difficulties, the fundamental paradoxes and contradictions, we
may respect the unity of history which is also the unity of life - Fernand Braudel

History is a string full of knots, the best you can do is admire it, and maybe tie it
up a bit more. History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing -
Jeannette Winterson

Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if
poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living
constantly remake - Robert Warren

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

Since history has no properly scientific value, its only purpose is educative. And if
historians neglect to educate the public...then all their historical learning is
valueless except in so far as it educates themselves - M. Trevelyan

The historian does simply not come in to replenish the gaps of memory. He
constantly challenges even those memories that have survived intact - Yosef
Yerushalmi

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

The historian does simply not come in to replenish the gaps of memory. He
constantly challenges even those memories that have survived intact - Yosef
Yerushalmi

History does nothing, possesses no enormous wealth, fights no battles. It is
rather man, the real, living man, who does everything, possesses, fights. It is not
History, as if she were a person apart, who uses men as a means to work out her
pursuing their purposes - Karl Marx

History ought to be useful to life. The task of history is not in judging the past but
to judge the present. It can be a tool for liberation of thought and a freeing of
possibilities - Anon.

He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth -
Goethe

[History] distinguishes what is accidental and transitory in human nature from
what is essential and immutable - Macaulay
Unless we learn from history, we are destined to repeat it. This is no longer
merely an academic exercise, but may contain our worlds fate and our destiny -
Alex Haley

To each eye the outlines of a great civilization present a different picture. In the
wide ocean upon which we venture, the possible ways and directions are
many…and lead to essentially different conclusions - Jacob Burckhardt

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality,
vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity
- Cicero

The function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself
from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of
the present - E. H. Carr

An historian should yield himself to his subject, become immersed in the place
and period of his choice, standing apart from it now and then for a fresh view -
Samuel Eliot Morison

The value of history is, indeed, not scientific but moral: by liberalizing the mind,
by deepening the sympathies…it prepares us to live more humanely in the
present and to meet rather than to foretell the future - Carl Becker

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and
catastrophe (H. G. Wells)

More history is made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills and
proclamations. (John Barth)

The historian must not try to know what is truth, if he values his honesty; for, if he
cares for his truths, he is certain to falsify his facts (Henry Adams)

Political and social history are in my view two aspects of the same process.
Social life loses half its interest and political movements lose most of their
meaning if they are considered separately. (F. M. Powicke)

The aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture of the
world, to give us a new way of looking at things. (James Joll)

History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost
impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire
laboriously into something which they set no value upon. (W. H. B. Court)
What better preparation for a history which seeks to bring societies to life and to
understand that life than to have really lived, commanded men, suffered with
them and shared their joys. (Lucien Febvre)

A mere collector of supposed facts is as useful as a collector of matchboxes.
(Lucien Febvre)

It is a mark of civilised man that he seeks to understand his traditions, and to
criticise them, not to swallow them whole. (M. I. Finley)

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
(William Hazlitt)

The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the
present. (G. K. Chesterton)

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most
important of all the lessons that history has to teach. (Aldous Huxley)

Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the
hunter. (African Proverb)

When a man of true genius appears in the world, you may know him by the
infallible sign, that all the dunces are in conspiracy against him (Jonathan Swift)

The history of the world is the history of the privileged few (Henry Miller)

'A page of history is worth a book of mathematics.' - Oliver Wendell Holmes
(1808 - 1864), American journalist

'Whoever neglects learning in his youth loses the Past, and is dead to the
Future.' - Euripides (480 - 406 BC), Greek playwright

'The study of History is the beginning of wisdom.' - Jean Bodin (1530 - 1596),
French economist

'Histories make men wise.' - Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626), English statesman

'If people could learn history, what lessons it might teach us!' - Samuel Taylor
Coleridge (1772 - 1834), British poet

'We need to study the whole of history, not to fall back into it, but to see if we can
escape from it.' - Jose Ortega y Gassat (1882 - 1955), Spanish philosopher

'History repeats itself because nobody listens.' - Laurence Peter, Professor of
Education at the University of California
'History teaches us tolerance for human shortcomings and imperfections.' - Lewis
F. Powel, American writer

'There is history in all men's lives.' - William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), British
playwright

'What is all knowledge except recorded experience, and a product of history?' -
Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881), Scottish historian

'A man who does not respect his ancestors is worse than a wild animal.' -
American Indian saying

'Man is a history-making creature, who can neither repeat his past, nor leave it
behind.' - W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973), British poet

'We are the best informed people on earth as to the events of the last 24 hours;
we are not the best informed as to the events of the last 60 centuries.' - Will
Durant, modern American thinker

'History is the discovering of the principles of human nature.' - David Hume (1711
- 1776), British philosopher

'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.' - L. P. Hartley,
(1895 - 1972), English novelist

'History is past politics, and politics is present history.' - E.A. Freeman (1823 -
1892), British historian

'History is the science of people.' - Jose Ortega y Gassat (1882 - 1955), Spanish
philosopher

'God cannot change the past, but historians can.' - Samuel Butler (1835 - 1902),
from Erewhon Revisited (1902)

'Events in the past may roughly be divided into those which probably never
happened and those which do not matter.' - Dean Inge (1860-1954) British
churchman

'It is impossible to write ancient history because we do not have enough sources,
and impossible to write modern history because we have far too many.' - Charles
Pierre Peguy (1873-1914) French writer

To study history means submitting to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in
order and meaning. It is a very serious task, ... and possibly a tragic one -
Hermann Hesse
History is a people's memory, and without memory man is demoted to the lower
animals - Malcolm X

Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original
virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through
disobedience and rebellion (Oscar Wilde)

In history one is absolutely sickened, not by the original crimes that the wicked
have committed, but by the punishment that the good have inflicted (Oscar
Wilde)

We get our ethics from our history and judge our history by our ethics (Ernst
Troeltsch)

Everyone is a reactionary about subjects he understands (Robert Conquest)

The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely
nothing at all (Oscar Wilde)

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is
struck by the difference between what things are and what they might have been
(William Hazlitt)

History is but a pack of tricks we play on the dead. (Voltaire)

History is as much an art as a science. (Ernest Renan)

The task of the historian is to understand the peoples of the past better than they
understand themselves (Herbert Butterfield )

History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does
not change the present does; each generation asks new questions of the past,
and finds new areas of sympathy as it re-lives different aspects of the
experiences of its predecessors (Christopher Hill)

Men make their own history, but they do not know that they are making it. (Karl
Marx)

There will always be a connection between the way in which men contemplate
the past and the way in which they contemplate the present. (Thomas Buckle)

It is a reproach of historians that they have too often turned history into a mere
record of the butchery of men by their fellow men. (J. R. Green)

Such is the unity of history that anyone who endeavours to tell a piece of it must
feel that his first sentence tears a seamless web. (F. W. Maitland)
History is the sextant and compass of states, which, tossed by wind and current,
would be lost in confusion if they could not fix their position. (Alan Nevins)

The historians are the guardians of tradition, the priests of the cult of nationality,
the prophets of social reform, the exponents and upholders of national virtue and
glory (Philip Bagby)

The study of history is a personal matter, in which the activity is generally more
valuable than the result. (V. H. Galbraith)

A society sure of its values had needed history only to celebrate the glories of the
past, but a society of changing values and consequent confusions also needed
history as a utilitarian guide. (Thomas Cochran)

Man generally is entangled in insoluble problems; history is consequently a
tragedy in which we are all involved, whose keynote is anxiety and frustration,
not progress and fulfilment. (Arthur Schlesinger Jr)

Consciousness of the past alone can make us understand the present. (Herbert
Luethy)

The justification of all historical study must ultimately be that it enhances our self-
consciousness, enables us to see ourselves in perspective, and helps us towards
that greater freedom which comes from self-knowledge. (Keith Thomas)

History is not a succession of events, it is the links between them. (E. Evans)

'History makes some amends for the shortness of human life.' - Philip Skelton,
American writer

'Men make their own history but they do not make it just as they please.' - Karl
Marx (1818-1883) German philosopher

'It would be better not to know so many things than to know so many things that
are not so.' - Felix Okoye

'We should always be aware that what now lies in the past once lay in the future.'
- F.W. Maitland

'History never repeats itself, man always does.' - Voltaire (1694-1778) French
philosopher and historian

'We learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.' - Hegel
(1770-1831) German philosopher
'If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable
must man be of learning from experience.' - George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
Irish playwright

'Journalism is merely history's first draft.' - Geoffrey C. Ward

'History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.' - Winston Churchill (1874 -
1965) British politican

'‘History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.' - Konrad
Adenauer (1876-1967) German statesman

'Political history is far too criminal to be a fit subject of study for the young.
Children should acquire their heroes and villians from fiction.' - W. H. Auden
(1907-1973) British poet

'History does not repeat itself. Historians repeat each other.' - Arthur Balfour
(1848-1930) British statesman

'History is an endless repetition of the wrong way to live.' - Lawrence Durrell
(1912-1990) British novelist

'Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.' - Billy Wilder (1906) Austrian-born US film
director. (Attrib)

'History is simply a piece of paper covered with print: the main thing is to make
history, not to write it.' - Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) Prussian unifier of
Germany

'Anyone can make history. Only a great man can write it.' - Oscar Wilde (1854-
1900), Irish playwright

'History is something that never happened told by someone who wasn't there.' -
Gomez de la Serna

'History is the self-consciousness of mankind.' - Johann Droysen (1808-1884)
Historian and politican

'The more I read, the more I meditate; and the more I acquire the more certain I
am that I know nothing.' - Voltaire (1694-1778) French philosopher and historian

'Winning isn't everything but wanting to is.' - Anon

'Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.' - Victorian saying
'The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.' - Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
German Nazi leader

'It takes a great deal of History to produce a little literature.' - Henry James (1879)
Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne

'History must not be written with bias, and both sides must be given, even if there
is only one side.' - John Betjeman (1952)

'A man without a bias cannot write interesting history – if indeed such a man
exists.' - Bertrand Russell (1967)

'The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.' - Mark
Twain (1897)

'History can be well written only in a free country.' - Voltaire (1737)

'Historians have a responsibility to make some sense of the past and not just to
repeat it.' - Michael Howard (1981) British politician

				
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