“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history. We act in our own self-interest. Of course we do. Name me a person or a nation who does not. The trick is figuring out where your interests are.” ~ page 84 of All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I think this is a fascinating aspect of history to think about, especially from the perspective of a student learning history in school. How would my US History textbook differ if we hadn’t won the Revolutionary War and gained complete independence from England? For that matter, how do current US textbooks differ from British ones when discussing the Revolutionary War itself as it occurred in history? The entire concept of perspective in history is endlessly intriguing to me, and therefore I was thrilled when I found this little gem of a quote in Anthony Doerr’s brilliant novel All the Light We Cannot See. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it!
How do you feel about perspective in history? What’s your opinion on perspective in history? Let me know in the comments section below!