DISTORTING HISTORY

In the process of transmitting our culture it is inevitable that with the wisdom of the past some errors be handed down. Explanations that in the past seemed the best may now appear false interpretations or mythical beliefs.

Written history glorifies the victorious. The defeated rarely had an opportunity to tell their story. The victims, far from being presented justly, were more likely to be subjects for obloquy. As Max Lerner reminds us in "It Is Later Than You Think", "History is written by the survivors. . . . Actually the so-called 'lessons' of history are for the most part the rationalization of the victors." (1)

The historic record that has survived was written by those granted opportunity by their overlords. Kings and mightiest monarchs at their courts kept not only fools to amuse, but chroniclers to magnify their egoes, virtues, and victories.

What was recorded as history was consequently not entirely fortuitous. More reliable is the recent extension of man's story revealed by the spade of the archeologist, and the record of the rocks read by the paleontologist. This record was made before human purpose devised the arts of manipulation.

The distortion of history for a particular time or place may or may not be wholly designed. Historians are men with convictions, sympathies and antipathies, which they regard as principles. The world that they attempt to record and interpret varies so widely that "the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of far Peru, and the crimes of Clapham, chaste in Martaban".

Historians today, for the most part kept in subsidized institutions of ecclesiastical origins, reinterpret the propaganda of the past to suit the needs of the time. These academic chairholders make a great claim to objectivity. In his 1933 presidential address to the American Historical Association, Charles A. Beard showed how unsubstantial is that claim:

"Any selection and arrangement of facts pertaining to any large area of history . . . is controlled inexorably by the frame of reference in the mind of the selector." Reporting the 1939 meeting of the same associa-

-443-

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War and Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • By Porter Sargent 4
  • Title Page 5
  • Table of Contents 9
  • This Title 15
  • Notes 17
  • This Book 19
  • Notes 23
  • Power Increase 25
  • Notes 27
  • Technological Advance 29
  • Notes 33
  • Economic Consequences 37
  • Notes 45
  • Political Effects 49
  • Notes 51
  • Social Repercussions 53
  • Notes 60
  • Centralizing Tendencms 65
  • Notes 68
  • Unifying the Nation 71
  • Notes 75
  • Nationalizing Educational Control 79
  • Notes 85
  • War Predicted by the Wise 89
  • Notes 98
  • Confused Educators 105
  • Notes 112
  • Retreat to the Past 119
  • Notes 128
  • Adjustnmnt is Painful 135
  • Notes 141
  • Unity Versus Heresy 145
  • Notes 152
  • Our Educational Leadership 161
  • Notes 166
  • 'Reforming' Static Education 168
  • Notes 171
  • Maintaining the Social System 173
  • Notes 182
  • Hopes of Reconsiruction 189
  • Notes 197
  • The Wife of the State 207
  • Notes 213
  • Ideals Without Vision 219
  • Notes 224
  • We Teach What's Left 229
  • Nons 240
  • Piecemeal Additions 245
  • Notes 249
  • Sterile Scholarship 251
  • Notes 261
  • Worship of Facts 265
  • Notes 270
  • Seedbeds for Propaganda 272
  • Notes 276
  • Education for Frustration 279
  • Notes 285
  • Youth the Scapegoat 287
  • Notes 295
  • Morale and Education 298
  • Notes 302
  • Health and Morale 305
  • Notes 310
  • Vitamins Will Win 313
  • Notes 317
  • War and the Children 319
  • Notes 324
  • Manufacturing Criminals 327
  • Notes 333
  • Has Education Improved Our Intellect? 337
  • Notes 344
  • Failure of the Intellect in Wartime 351
  • Notes 359
  • Control--By Whom and for What? 361
  • Notes 369
  • How Universities Are Controlled 371
  • Notes 378
  • How Foundations Influence 387
  • Notes 402
  • How Governments Perpetuate Themselves 411
  • Notes 415
  • Guiding Public Opinion 419
  • Notes 424
  • Notes 437
  • Distorting History 443
  • Building Ideologies 447
  • Changing Directions 451
  • Getting Down to Earth 455
  • Yearning for Security 459
  • Going Head First 463
  • Turning Eyes Forward 467
  • Getting Understanding 473
  • Index 479
  • Publishers Books Quoted Or Reviewed 505
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