A text purporting to describe a battle may have been composed to glorify the victor or excuse the loser. A politician's memoirs may have been written with an eye to making him look good to future generations. The inscription on a statue may have been re-inscribed at the behest of a ruler jealous of his illustrious predecessor's accomplishments.
Columbus Day Parade in New York
For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.
The British statesman Winston Churchill was a prolific writer throughout his life, and many of his works were historical. ... Churchill was an exponent of the view that the British and American people had a unique greatness and destiny and that all British history should be seen as progress towards fulfilling that destiny. This belief inspired his political career as well as his historical writing.
Using the drafts and correspondence for The Second World War, David Reynolds opens our eyes to Churchill the author and to the research 'syndicate' on whom he depended. We see how the memoirs were censored by Whitehall to conceal secrets such as the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, and how Churchill himself censored them to avoid offending current world leaders.
The six-volume History of the Second World War to which Churchill gave his name, published between 1948 and 1954, came to dominate Western thinking about the conflict for a generation. It is hard to overstate the work's impact, the reverence with which it was received by reviewers and a huge readership on both sides of the Atlantic. ... David Reynolds ... describes the process by which the books were written, and the deal-making around the world which accompanied them. Most significantly, he compares what Churchill wrote about events with the evidence we now possess, and assesses how far the author wilfully distorted history to make the case for himself... As a history of events, Churchill's account is wildly unreliable, sometimes by intent.
I've always been a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, admirer of his career, admirer of his strength, admirer of his character—so much so that I keep a stern-looking bust of Sir Winston in the Oval Office. ... Like few other men in this or any other age, Churchill is admired throughout the world. And through the writings and his personal effects, we feel the presence of the great man, himself. ... He was an extraordinary man. ... He said, "History will be kind to me—for I intend to write it." History has been kind to Winston Church-ill, as it usually is to those who help save the world.
In a nod to the "special relationship", President Donald Trump appeared to make good on an agreement to put a bust of the wartime British leader back in the famous office within hours of being sworn in.
This book relates the current, insidious plight facing the human race as a direct result of a grand deception that has been imposed upon it for tens of thousands of years if not longer. This has been perpetrated by the systematic, ongoing falsification of history in much the same way as perpetrated by the powers that be in the suspiciously prophetic novel '1984', by George Orwell. We have all been deceived on a monumental scale by a tiny clique of people who by their own birthright and bloodlines absolutely believe that they have the divine right to rule over us by whatever method best suits their purposes. In order to achieve this they have lied, deceived, murdered and even committed genocide down the millennia in an attempt to bring their ultimate goal to fruition.
History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals.
To understand the present, we must know the past.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
"Americans are not very interested in history," said Piero Gleijeses, a professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University. "If you're not interested in history, you don't learn lessons from history."
Edmund Burke claimed that "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Perhaps. But more serious are those who know history but learn nothing from it.