"The future is certain . . . it is only the past that is unpredictable." So the Russians used to say about life in the unlamented Soviet Union. In this country we like to think the past is set but that we can change our futures. We all, however, edit the past, intentionally or unintentionally.
When writing history, when reading history, and when examining how others have written history, we must remember that revising the past is a human characteristic. History is always edited, including "gatekeeping" - deciding what information to include and what to exclude. Editing includes choosing the theme and approach to one's topic. Editing also can include shading facts to support one's view - backwards research, determining meaning before gathering information.
In addition to the enjoyment, we study history to gain perspective on modern events and developments, how we got where we are. We study history, perhaps less wisely but usually with the best intentions, to seek analogies for modern problems, to try to replicate solutions that worked, avoid those that failed.
Finally, some of us study history to find evidence to use in modern discourse, valid or otherwise. We take only what we need to buttress our arguments, discarding the inconvenient. There is a fine line between using history as a tool for modern debate, and looking at history from a modern viewpoint. We can only write history with a "current" perspective. We can bring skill to learning, …