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Provocative excerpts from primary and secondary sources (some with audio glosses). Read the rationale behind these sound bites for more information.


21-30 of 734 Sound Bites. [show all]

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21) Is it necessary to the American psyche to perpetually exploit and debase its victims in order to justify its history? (Michael Dorris 7) [SoundBite #400]

22) Is it not time that we scholars began to earn our keep in this world? . . . Like politicians, we have thrived on public innocence. Occasionally, we emerge from the library stacks to sign a petition or deliver a speech, then return to produce even more of inconsequence. We are accustomed to keeping our social commitment extracurricular and our scholarly work safely neutral. . . . We publish while others perish. (Howard Zinn 5) [SoundBite #22]

23) History is but a pack of tricks we play on the dead. (Voltaire) [SoundBite #23]

24) Memory, as we all know, is fitful and phantasmagoric. History is organized memory, and the organization is all-important. (Henry Steele Commager 3) [SoundBite #24]

25) In an essay on historical consciousness, Friedrich Nietzsche spoke of "creative forgetfulness" -- how the memory of some aspects of the past is predicated on amnesia about others. (Eric Foner xii-xiii) [SoundBite #1362]

26) Emotion is the glue that causes history to stick. (James W. Loewen 294) [SoundBite #1319]

27) A recurrent myth . . . is that of the "founding fathers." . . . Generally speaking, what happens in the case of these myths is that differences between past and present are elided, and unintended consequences are turned into conscious aims, as if the main purpose of these past heroes had been to bring about the present -- our present. (Peter Burke 110) [SoundBite #27]

28) Historical study can enhance personal freedom. We owe much of our identity to our personal histories, which we call memory . . . and without it we cannot make decisions, improve the quality of our lives, or perhaps even survive. History is society's memory, and a society that has forgotten its past is condemned to confusion just as certainly as the amnesiac. (Stephen Vaughn 8) [SoundBite #28]

29) Martin Luther King once said reading history made him feel "eternally in the red." (David Harlan xv) [SoundBite #29]

30) There is no guarantee that images will work in the way we think they will when we create them. (Sut Jhally in Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #30]