Posted by Ilse on March 11, 1999 at 16:31:58:
In Reply to: Re: Who's Perspective? posted by Gayle on March 11, 1999 at 13:58:33:
: : Hi Gayle -
: : I missed something here ... Your quotes. I can't connect them to MM's statement. No, I'm not as sharp as I used to be! Darn!
: Dear Rich,
: My thinking often gets a bit rangey and esoteric, so people find it hard to connect one end of my thread to the other. Don't feel bad if you're confused. So am I ;-).
: My point with those particular quotes is that people in 1919 thought of their world as the most modern America would ever get. WWI was THE GREAT WAR, and criminal punishment needed no revisions, because the tried and true system used since 1740 WORKED. Today we look at the thinking of people in 1919 (and as far back as mankind goes, actually)and believe we know far better than they how they thought and felt, despite the fact that we are NOT dealing with the daily context in which they led their lives and struggled with the developing nation. As wonderful a job as Mann did on the historical aspects of LOTM - and I don't begrudge him one bit of glory for what he created - I still get miffed when he pulls the patronizing and sanctimonious stuff. I was just curious to see what kind of discussion might result on the relative value of revising and explaining people from other places in time.
First of, it is so great you're back with us on the board. Pertaining to the Michael Mann statement, I think it is rather pretentious to assume that we now understand all the issues so much better. Perhaps we know more facts today, but since we were not there when they were happening, we have no clue how the people living through all the events experienced it. Maybe the frustrating thing about studying history, is that it involves lots of guessing and assuming, and you will never get the certainty you are right.
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