What is History? Part 23

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To know truly is to know by causes.  —Francis Bacon

Success begets excess, and excess begets death.  —Anonymous

Something is going on and will not stop.  You are outside the going on, and you are, at the same time, inside the going on.  In fact, the going on is what you are.  —Robert Penn Warren

. . . we are all stuck with trying to find the meaning of  our lives, and the only thing we have to work on,  or with, is our past.  —R.P. Warren

Is it not extraordinary that the effects persist after the causes have disappeared?  And the effects hide the causes?  In this sphere it is impossible to distinguish between causes and effects.  Actually there are no causes and effects, merely a complex of interpenetrating reactions and tendencies.  The persistence of certain attitudes, and the freedom and independence they assume in relation to the causes that created them, induce us to study them in the living flesh of the present rather than in the history books.  —Octavio Paz

The people of the past understood  issues by the light of information and attitudes current to their day, just as we are guided by the knowledge available to us. . . . One day a “presentist” will be asking how we could have been so stupid as to believe what we now hold as true. . . . Unfortunately, many academicians and students do not understand this simple point.  —Michael R. Bradley

Some folks loved them and some folks hated them, and I guess that’s a pretty good definition of leadership.  —Ferrol Sams

. . . anybody who crows long enough on top of the dunghill is bound to stir up some envy in the ones below.  You season this with a little greed  and eventually there’s going to be some conflict.  —Ferrol Sams

I explained to him that . . . the Civil War was—and is—to the United States  what the Trojan War was to the Greeks; the great single tragic event that continues to give resonance to our republic.  “Well, to me,” said Poddy [neocon Norman Podheretz], “the Civil War is as remote and as irrelevant as the War of the Roses.”  —Gore Vidal

What government wants is simple: total control. . . . The problem is money: who has it, who spends it, and who gets what for what he paid.  —Gore Vidal

. . . so that thou mayest see, how that it is no new thing, but an old and accustomed thing with the hypocrites to wite God’s word and the true preachers of all the mischief which their lying doctrine is the very cause of. . . . God sendeth great trouble into the world: partly to avenge himself on the tyrants and persecutors of his word and partly to destroy those worldly people which make of God’s word nothing but a cloak of their fleshly liberty. They are not all good that follow the gospel.  —William Tyndale

Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery.  —Governor Joel Parker of New Jersey, 1863

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  —Jerry Reed

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