Hindsight

Standard

In reference to a long discussion that took place in the comments section of this blog a little while ago, we thought we would share the following passage from the introduction to Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara, an historical novel about the events leading up to the American Revolution:

It has become fashionable in our modern, more cynical time to reexamine our history, to throw a supposedly new light on those who are famous for their accomplishments, to instead expose their faults, to topple the statue of the hero, to replace the honor and respect with the sensational and the shameful, as though it were the only meaningful way these characters can be relevant to today’s world. I most adamantly disagree. That we know so much about these characters today is a testament to their accomplishments, their extraordinary achievements, and, yes, their astounding heroism. That they can so easily become targets is a testament to their humanity. They are, after all, so very much like us. Measuring their behavior with the crystal clarity of hindsight, with twenty-first-century standards and judgments, is a convenient and cynical shortcut to learning history, but it does little to help us understand their character and why they deserve too be not only remembered, but revered.