February 21, 2014

What You Choose to Remember

"History is an account of the past based on surviving sources, but it is also a way of making sense out of the present. In the heat and confusion of events, people on all sides of an issue mine old stories for inspiration, enlightenment, or confirmation. Their efforts add to the layers of understanding attached to the original events, shaping what later generations know and care about.

"Scholars sometimes call these popular reconstructions of the past "memory" to distinguish them from formal history. But serious history is also forged in the tumult of change.
History is not just what happened in the past. It is what later generations choose to remember."
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

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