A History of Travel in America

A History of Travel in America

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A History of Travel in America

A History of Travel in America

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A story of national growth does not simply recite the results of human endeavor: it is more deeply concerned with the character of the people discussed, and with the ideals, motives and methods underlying their acts.

Understanding of history is not gained through mere acquaintance with what was done. It is obtained by comprehension of the purpose and manner of the doing. Those individual figures and throngs of mankind who inhabit the pages of written history should not be manikins or mummies, but living men enacting their daily deeds, vitalized with the spirit that moved them while they were indeed here. We should be able to see them; to hear their cries of fear or delight; to smile at their revelry; feel anger at their evil and deceit, regret at their blunders, pride in their worthy accomplishments. Only by coming thus close to the past—by knowing it to be part of our own lives instead of looking upon it as a museum of curiosities—can we apply its value as a guide to ourselves.

Doubtless it is no longer possible to tell in words and pictorially portray, with reasonable completeness, the historical conditions considered in these volumes. That this should be so is cause for regret, since the story of those pioneer ideas, struggles and devices out of which grew a nation in the social and economic sense—rather than in a political sense—is the foundation history of the country.

We have now reached a period sufficiently removed . . .

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