Is There Truth in the History They Teach?

One interesting thing about running a Think Tank is you get to meet really smart folks from all walks of life and industries. Often, they get into debates and cite history, but does anyone know the true history of the human experience, or do we just know glimpses and probabilities that we attempt to define as absolutes?

Is there really any truth in the history we are taught – how does the teacher know, what cannot be known without having been there? Sure there are clues to the whole thing, but how can you know, how can you even get close to the truth? In intellectual debates often someone argues a point of history, both in the debate probably have ample proof to back them up, books, manuscripts, scrolls, etc.

Just when one sees something as black and white the tile on the mosaic spins showing you a different side of what you think you see. Here is an interesting quote I ran across today in a book “Civilisation – A Personal View” by Kenneth Clark 1969.

Great Nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts, the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last” – Ruskin.

This is a very profound and interesting statement to consider and I have indeed, used this historical quote now more than once to make a point during debates on history with regards to decision making in the present. Please consider this, think on it.