On The Couch …
Here are a few quotes on history, more for later:
The historian lays humanity on the couch. Lynn White, Jr.
History is never antiquated, because humanity is always fundamentally the same. Walter Rauschenbusch
To remain ignorant of things that happened before you were born is to remain a child. Cicero
A nation that forgets its past can function no better than an individual with amnesia. David McCullough
Man is an historical animal, with a deep sense of his own past; and if he cannot integrate the past by a history explicit and true, he will integrate it by a history implicit and false. Geoffrey Barraclough
It has become too easy to see that the luckless men of the past lived by mistakes, even absurd beliefs, so we may well fail in a decent respect for them, and forget that historians of the future will point out that we too lived by myths.
Herbert J. Muller
When a person identifies himself with a group his critical faculties are diminished and his passions enhanced by a kind of emotive resonance. The individual is not a killer, the group is, and by identifying with it, the individual becomes one. This is the infernal dialect reflected in man’s history.
It is striking how history, when resting on the memory of men, always touches the bounds of mythology. Leopold von Ranke
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age. H.L. Mencken
The history of man is a series of conspiracies to win from nature some advantage without paying for it. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. H. G. Wells