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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.


31-40 of 734 Sound Bites. [show all]

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31) The historian is part of history. The point in the procession at which he finds himself determines his angle of vision over the past. (Edward Hallett Carr 30) [SoundBite #31]

32) Happy is the people that is without a history, wrote Christopher Dawson, "and thrice happy is the people without a sociology, for as long as we possess a living culture we are unconscious of it, and it is only when we are in danger of losing it or when it is already dead that we begin to realize its existence and to study it scientifically." . . . A little consciousness is a dangerous thing. And so we had better strive to become clearly and fully conscious, of who we are, where we are, and how we got this way. (Herbert J. Muller 27) [SoundBite #32]

33) In the modern world, the national cultures into which we are born are one of the principal sources of cultural identity. In defining ourselves we sometimes say we are English or Welsh or Indian or Jamaican. Of course, this is to speak metaphorically. Those identities are not literally imprinted in our genes. However, we do think of them as if they are part of our essential natures. (Stuart Hall 291) [SoundBite #33]

34) To the degree that American history in particular is celebratory, it offers no way to understand any problem--such as the Vietnam War, poverty, inequality, international haves and have-nots, environmental degradation, or changing sex roles--that has historical roots. (James W. Loewen 302) [SoundBite #1324]

35) The past we choose to remember defines in large measure our national character, transmits the values and self-images we hold dear, and preserves the events, glorious and shameful, extraordinary and mundane, that constitute our legacy from the past and inspire our hopes for the future. (Gary Nash et. al. ix) [SoundBite #35]

36) That which we remember is, more often than not, that which we would have like to have been; or that which we hope to be. Thus our memory and our identity are ever at odds; our history ever a tale told by inattentive idealists. (Ralph Ellison, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 2) [SoundBite #36]

37) History is as much an art as a science. (Ernest Renan) [SoundBite #37]

38) Those who in the sixties complained of the bland optimism, the chauvinism, and the materialism of their old civics texts did so in the belief that, for all their protests, the texts would never change. (Frances FitzGerald, America 9) [SoundBite #38]

39) Just as a good interrogator looks behind the suspects’ story or alibi, so must we probe inside and behind the image. (Sut Jhally in Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #40]

40) History is a furious debate informed by evidence and reason. Textbooks encourage students to believe that history is facts to be learned. (James W. Loewen 5) [SoundBite #1263]