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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.


734 Sound Bites. [show 10 per page]

1) The reasons [for teaching history in school] are many, but none are more important to a democratic society than this: knowledge of history is the precondition of political intelligence. Without history, a society shares no common memory of where it has been, what its core values are, or what decisions of the past account for present circumstances. Without history, we cannot undertake any sensible inquiry into the political, social, or moral issues in society. And without historical knowledge and inquiry, we cannot achieve the informed, discriminating citizenship essential to effective participation in the democratic processes of governance and the fulfillment for all our citizens of the nation's democratic ideals. (National Standards for United States History 1) [SoundBite #1]

2) Once, not very long ago, history was one of our primary forms of moral reflection. American history and intellectual historians wrote broad-gauged, morally instructive histories -- histories that taught us how to speak in the first-person plural, histories that reminded us of what we, as a people, have always wished to become. . . . American historians no longer write that kind of history, of course. It has come to seem moralistic and elitist -- and worst of all, grossly insensitive to the racial and ethnic diversity of the American past. (David Harlan xv) [SoundBite #2]

3) Roland Barthes has said that when watching certain widescreen films, he felt as if he were standing on "the balcony of history," a statement that captures the impressive power of historical films to represent the past from what seems like an ideal vantage point. (Robert Burgoyne 2) [SoundBite #1365]

4) As we historians become absorbed in our stories, we like to forget that all history, including written history, is a construction, not a reflection. That history (as we practice it) is an ideological and cultural product of the Western World at a particular time in its development. That history is a series of conventions for thinking about the past. That the claims of history for universality are no more than the grandiose claims of any knowledge system. That language itself is only a convention for doing history -- one that privileges certain elements: fact, analysis, linearity. The clear implication: history need not be done on the page. It can be a mode of thinking that utilizes elements other than the written word: sound, vision, feeling, montage. (Robert Rosenstone 11) [SoundBite #4]

5) We seem to forget that history is written by the hands of human historians as opposed to unbiased ghostwriters. History is not one image downloaded from a photographer's hard drive; it is a collage of images with captions, instead. We mustn’t forget that "the historian will always to some extent play the role of story teller--selecting from a fragmented and disordered array of facts from the past, deciding which to foreground and ordering them into a narrative organization that will be meaningful for the contemporary reader" (Chopra-Gant 59). If we do not maintain this awareness while reading history, we may interpret these historical memories as absolute facts, as opposed to one account of the events. By removing the "unbiased” and supreme authority status associated with the historian, we will challenge ourselves to reconsider the validity of historical films. (Hilary Chadwick, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1236]

6) Ronald Reagan, a man of the movies before he was one of politics, seemed occasionally unable or unwilling to distinguish between the world that is in films from the world that is not. He told audiences of a bomber pilot's decision to go down with his injured comrade rather than bail out. The pilot, Reagan said, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In 1983, Reagan told the Israeli prime minister of his horror at seeing the Nazi death camps when he visited them after the war as a member of a military film crew. Neither story was true. The heroic scene in the bomber described by Reagan came entirely from the 1944 picture, Wing and a Prayer, and Reagan never served on a film crew in Germany; his whole military career was spent in Los Angeles, making movies. (Phillip L. Gianos xi) [SoundBite #6]

7) A nation can therefore be defined as a named human population sharing an historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members. (Anthony D. Smith 14) (hear audio gloss by Edward J. Gallagher) [SoundBite #7]

8) Historical films help to shape the thinking of millions. Often the depictions seen on the screen influence the public's view of historical subjects much more than books. (Robert Brent Toplin, History vi) [SoundBite #8]

9) The historian, by habit, is a passive reporter, studying the combatants of yesterday, while those of today clash outside his window. . . . in a world where children are still not safe from starvation or bombs, should not the historian thrust himself and his writing into history, on behalf of goals in which he deeply believes? Are we historians not humans first, and scholars because of that? (Howard Zinn 1) [SoundBite #9]

10) More than math or science, more even than American literature, courses in American history hold the promise of telling high school students how they and their parents, their communities and their society came to be as they are. (James W. Loewen 207) [SoundBite #1281]

11) We should not assume that history is merely a book of recipes to be consulted. That risks grave error and may well lead us to miss a major advantage of historical study. It is the process of entering into the past, making a segment of it for a time into our present, that is often as important as the information we learn. . . . If we rearrange the past when we write or speak about it, so too does the study of earlier times change us. Transformation results when we place ourselves in the position of other people in bygone times. Historical study can pull us away from self-centeredness . . . a necessary first step in the development of maturity and wisdom. (Stephen Vaughn 6) [SoundBite #11]

12) When one is too curious about the practices of past centuries, one ordinarily remains very ignorant of the practices of this one. (Descartes) [SoundBite #12]

13) The historian, then, is an individual human being. Like other individuals, he is also a social phenomenon, both the product and the conscious or unconscious spokesman of the society to which he belongs; it is in this capacity that he approaches the facts of the historical past. (Edward Hallett Carr 29) [SoundBite #13]

14) Both reel history and real history should be questioned. (Melissa Barrero, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1357]

15) In an anthropological spirit, then, I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community -- and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. (Benedict Anderson 5-6) (hear audio gloss by Edward J. Gallagher) [SoundBite #15]

16) History textbooks for elementary and secondary schools are not like other kinds of histories. They serve a different function, and they have their own traditions, which continue independent of academic history writing. In the first place, they are essentially nationalistic histories. . . . In the second place, they are written not to explore but to instruct -- to tell children what their elders want them to know about their country. This information is not necessarily what anyone considers the truth of things. Like time capsules, the texts contain the truths selected for posterity. (Frances Fitzgerald, America 47) [SoundBite #16]

17) It is time for historians to accept the mainstream historical film as a new kind of history that, like all history, operates within certain limited boundaries. . . . We must begin to think of history on film as closer to past forms of history, as a way of dealing with the past that is more like oral history, or history told by bards, or griots in Africa, or history contained in classic epics. Perhaps film is the postliterate equivalent of the preliterate way of dealing with the past, of those forms of history in which scientific, documentary accuracy was not yet a consideration, forms in which any notion of fact was of less importance than the sound of a voice, the rhythm of a line, the magic of words. One can have similar aesthetic moments in film. . . . Such elements may well detract from the documentary aspect, yet they add something as well, even if we do not yet know how to evaluate that "something." (Robert Rosenstone 78) [SoundBite #17]

18) If you want to send a message in Hollywood, use Western Union. (attributed to Hollywood movie producer Samuel Goldwyn) [SoundBite #18]

19) The director [in the movie Sweet Liberty (1986)] holds up a cautionary hand. "Movie audiences are made up mostly of people between fifteen and twenty-two," he says. "They want to see three things: people defying authority, people destroying property, and people taking their clothes off." He is making a movie about the American Revolution. When the facts of history conflict with the audience's demands, he tells us, the audience wins. Put movies in one pan of the scale and history in the other, and history turns out to be made of feathers. (Kenneth M. Cameron 7) [SoundBite #19]

20) Whether one deems our present society wondrous or awful or both, history reveals how we arrived at this point. Understanding our past is central to our ability to understand ourselves and the world around us. (James W. Loewen 2) [SoundBite #1262]

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]

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]

41) The most direct route to the American mind was through the nation’s great agencies of mass communication. (William L. Van Deburg 19) [SoundBite #41]

42) Movies do more than entertain. They also teach, whether or not individual filmmakers have such intentions or pretensions. (Carlos E. Cortes 53) [SoundBite #42]

43) The first [question] is that of the relative adequacy of what we might call "historiophoty" (the representation of history and our thought about it in filmic images and filmic discourse) to the criteria of truth and accuracy presumed to govern the professional practice of historiography (the representation of history in verbal images and written discourse). (Hayden White, Historiography 1193) [SoundBite #43]

44) Traditional histories do not take the nation at its own word, but, for the most part, they do assume that the problem lies with the interpretation of "events" that have a certain transparency or privileged visibility. (Homi K. Bhabha 3) [SoundBite #44]

45) What happens when people of different ethnic origins, speaking different languages and professing different religions, settle in the same geographic locality and live under the same political sovereignty? Unless a common purpose binds them together, tribal hostilities will drive them apart. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 10) [SoundBite #45]

46) Like writing history with lightning. (Woodrow Wilson, in regard to Birth of a Nation) [SoundBite #46]

47) Many critics have labeled Hollywood a “dream factory,” claiming that its filmmakers purvey escapism and mindless entertainment. (Leslie Fishbein 75) [SoundBite #47]

48) History as a record consists of three states, or processes, usually so skillfully blended that they appear to be a single one. . . . the collection of what are thought to be relevant facts . . . the organization of those facts into some coherent pattern . . . interpretation of the facts and of the pattern. (Henry Steele Commager 5) [SoundBite #48]

49) The rages of ages will inform. (Thomas Hardy, qtd. in Nash et. al. 259) [SoundBite #49]

50) I remember as a kid hearing that in Germany they didn't teach the holocaust in the history books so that kids didn't think badly about their country -- I was appalled. But Americans do the same thing. We know how strong a collective memory is in promoting nationalism and therefore do not want to besmudge our "America rules" image with "bad" American history. (Wendy Kuhn, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #50]

51) The chief value of history is that it is an extension of the personal memory, and an extension which the masses can share. (Carl Becker, qtd in Vaughn 19) [SoundBite #51]

52) Thomas Jefferson long ago prescribed history for all who would take part in self-government because it would enable them to prepare for things yet to come. (National Standards for United States History 1) [SoundBite #52]

53) Fact is skeleton, armature; history is body: the historian is related to God in the ability, occasionally, to take a rib and create life. (Kenneth M. Cameron 7) [SoundBite #53]

54) Film is history as vision. The long tradition of oral history has given us a poetic relationship to the world and our past, while written history, especially in the last two centuries, has created an increasingly linear, scientific world on the page. Film changes the rules of the historical game, insisting on its own sort of truths which arise from a visual and aural realm that is difficult to capture adequately in words. (Robert Rosenstone 15) [SoundBite #54]

55) In the notion of representation is the idea of giving meaning. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #55]

56) The indoctrination taking place today in American academia is disingenuously described as "multiculturalism" by its academic purveyors. A more accurate description would be "politically motivated historical and cultural distortion." It is a primitive type of historical revisionism. (Rush Limbaugh 66) [SoundBite #56]

57) [Historical films] share a common core feature: they are centered on documentable historical events, directly referring to historical occurrences through their main plotlines. Unlike the costume drama or the romance set in the past, history provides the referential content of the historical film. The events of the past constitute the mainspring of the historical film, rather than the past simply serving as a scenic backdrop or a nostalgic setting. (Robert Burgoyne 4) [SoundBite #1366]

58) History is the fruit of power. (Michel-Rolph Trouillot xix) [SoundBite #58]

59) Prosthetic memories are memories that circulate publicly, are not organically based, but are nevertheless experienced with one's own body -- by means of a wide range of cultural technologies -- and as such, become part of one's personal archive of experience, informing not only one's subjectivity, but one's relationship to the present and future tenses. I call these memories prosthetic, in part, because, like an artificial limb, they are actually worn by the body; these are sensuous memories produced by experience. . . . The mass media has begun to construct sites . . . in which people are invited to enter into experiential relationships with events through which they themselves did not live. Through such spaces people may gain access to a range of processual, sensually immersed knowledges, knowledges which would be difficult to acquire by purely cognitive means. (Alison Landsberg 66) [SoundBite #59]

60) Perhaps, worst of all, when textbooks paint simplistic portraits of a pious, heroic Columbus, they provide feel-good history that bores everyone. (James W. Loewen 65) [SoundBite #1264]

61) Great history is written precisely when the historian's vision of the past is illuminated by insights into the problems of the present. (Edward Hallett Carr 31) [SoundBite #61]

62) Man is what has happened to him, what he has done. . . . Man, in a word, has no nature; what he has is . . . history. (Julio Ortega, qtd. in Zamora 29) [SoundBite #62]

63) In response to this trans-national phenomenon, critics adhering to diverse ideological persuasions have suggested that societies in fact reconstruct their pasts rather than faithfully record them, and that they do so with the needs of contemporary culture clearly in mind—manipulating the past in order to mold the present. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 3) [SoundBite #63]

64) Every written history is a product of processes of condensation, displacement, symbolization, and qualification exactly like those used in the production of a filmed representation. It is only the medium that differs, not the way in which messages are produced. (Hayden White, "Historiography" 1194) [SoundBite #64]

65) Men make their own history, but they do not know that they are making it. (Karl Marx) [SoundBite #65]

66) It may, therefore, be worthwhile to examine the arguments for "disinterested, neutral, scientific, objective" scholarship. If there is to be a revolution in the uses of knowledge to correspond to the revolution in society, it will have to begin by challenging the rules which sustain the wasting of knowledge. Let me cite a number of them, and argue briefly for new approaches. . . . Rule 2. Be objective. The myth of "objectivity" in teaching and scholarship is based on a common confusion. . . . To be "objective" in writing history, for example, is as pointless as trying to draw a map which shows everything -- or even samples of everything -- on a piece of terrain. . . . A map fails us, not when it is untrue to the abstract universal of total inclusiveness, but when it is untrue to . . . some present human need. (Howard Zinn 8-9, 10-11) [SoundBite #66]

67) Of all the arts, cinema is the most important instrument. (Lenin, speaking about propaganda) [SoundBite #60]

68) A refusal to remember, according to Nobel Prize poet Czeslaw Milosz, is a primary characteristic of our age. (Lynne V. Cheyney 5) [SoundBite #68]

69) Based on a True Story proclaims a promise of veracity while whispering a discreet warning that mere "facts" alone are not sufficient. (Donald F. Stevens xi) [SoundBite #69]

70) Herodotus thought of historians as the guardians of memory, the memory of glorious deeds. I prefer to see historians as the guardians of awkward facts, the skeletons in the cupboard of the social memory. There used to be an official called the "Remembrancer." The title was actually a euphemism for debt-collector; the official's job was to remind people of what they would have liked to forget. One of the most important functions of the historian is to be a remembrancer. (Peter Burke 110) [SoundBite #70]

71) It [an event, object, etc.] doesn’t exist meaningfully until after it’s been represented. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #71]

72) History is a kind of research or inquiry . . . . generically it belongs to what we call the sciences; that is, forms of thought whereby we ask questions and try to answer them. . . . Science is finding things out: and in that sense history is a science. . . . What kinds of things does history find out? I answer, res gestae; actions of human beings that have been done in the past. . . . history is the science of res gestae, the attempt to answer questions about human actions done in the past. (R. G. Collingwood 9) [SoundBite #72]

73) The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. . . . We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. (Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, 1862) [SoundBite #73]

74) The society that was once uniform is now a patchwork of rich and poor, old and young, men and women, blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Indians. (Frances FitzGerald, America 11) [SoundBite #74]

75) One of the signs of emerging democracy in countries that until recently have been ruled by authoritarian governments is that the citizens start arguing publicly about history. (Gary Nash et. al. 259) [SoundBite #75]

76) Based loosely on history but forgoing the complexities and contradictions of history in favour of other narrative and dramatic considerations, while also having an almost unique power to shape popular perceptions of what "really happened," the historical film provides a seductive appearance of historicity that all too easily translates, in the popular imaginary, to a faithful rendition of historical events that, in reality, it can never be. For this reason attempts to represent history on film must always be regarded with a highly critical eye. (Mike Chopra-Gant 96-97) [SoundBite #1243]

77) History, by apprizing them [citizens] of the past, will enable them to judge of the future, it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. (Thomas Jefferson, qtd. in Bennett, Children 160) [SoundBite #77]

78) Written history, after all, is the application of an aesthetic vision to a welter of facts; and both the weight and the vitality of an historical work depend on the quality of the vision. (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., qtd. in Commager 6) [SoundBite #67]

79) The knowledge of past events is the sovereign corrective of human nature. (Polybius of Megalopolis, c. 200 B.C.) [SoundBite #79]

80) Who are textbooks written for (and by)? Plainly, descendants of the Europeans. (James W. Loewen 35) [SoundBite #1268]

81) The time will come, and in less than ten years, when the children in the public schools will be taught practically everything by moving pictures. Certainly they will never be obliged to read history again. (D. W. Griffith, qtd. in Stevens 1) [SoundBite #81]

82) Is it possible to tell historical stories on film and yet not lose our [historians] professional or intellectual souls? (Robert Rosenstone 24) [SoundBite #82]

83) Culture is a way in which we make sense of, or give meaning to, things of one sort or another. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #83]

84) There will always be a connection between the way in which men contemplate the past and the way in which they contemplate the present. (Thomas Buckle, qtd. by Marwick 326) [SoundBite #84]

85) Do not applaud me, Fustel de Coulanges told his rapt students. "It is not I who address you, but history that speaks through my mouth." This claim of utter impersonality encouraged the monumental unimaginativeness of German scholarship, which still awes American universities and dehumanizes the humanities. It implied that the significance of human history was to be discovered by a systematic avoidance of significant generalization or judgment. (Herbert J. Muller 28) [SoundBite #85]

86) The ethnic revolt against the melting pot has reached the point, in rhetoric at least, though not I think in reality, of a denial of the idea of a common culture and a single society. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 133) [SoundBite #86]

87) Contemporary historians write history not to deepen our indebtedness to the past but to liberate us from the past. (David Harlan xv) [SoundBite #87]

88) National identities are not things we are born with, but are formed and transformed within and in relation to "representation." We only know what it is to be "English" because of the way "Englishness" has come to be represented, as a set of meanings, by English national culture. It follows that a nation is not only a political entity but something which produces meanings -- "a system of cultural representation." People are not only legal citizens of a nation; they participate in the "idea" of the nation as represented in its national culture. A nation is a symbolic community. (Stuart Hall 292) [SoundBite #88]

89) Whether consensually or passively transmitted, national identity requires self-ablation. Citizenship becomes equivalent to life itself and also looms as a kind of death penalty: both activity in and exile from the political public sphere feel like cruel and unusual punishment. It is apparently a quality of nations to claim legal and moral privilege, to inspire identification and sacrifice. (Lauren Berlant 4) [SoundBite #80]

90) People who have tradition are oppressed by tradition, and people who are without it are oppressed by the lack of it -- or by whatever else they have put in its place. (Ellen Glasgow, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 309) [SoundBite #500]

91) First, you cannot fully understand or appreciate the work of the historian unless you have first grasped the standpoint from which he himself approached it; secondly, that that standpoint is itself rooted in a social and historical background. Do not forget that, as Marx once said, the educator himself has to be educated. . . . The historian, before he begins to write history, is the product of history. (Edward Hallett Carr 34) [SoundBite #91]

92) In reenacting the past, the Hollywood historical film employs a variety of techniques to produce a heightened sense of fidelity and verisimilitude, creating a powerfully immersive experience for the spectator. Many of the characteristic features of the historical film directly function to reinforce the experiential core of the genre, its impression of "witnessing again." (Robert Burgoyne 8) [SoundBite #1367]

93) It may, therefore, be worthwhile to examine the arguments for "disinterested, neutral, scientific, objective" scholarship. If there is to be a revolution in the uses of knowledge to correspond to the revolution in society, it will have to begin by challenging the rules which sustain the wasting of knowledge. Let me cite a number of them, and argue briefly for new approaches. . . . Rule 3. Stick to your discipline. Specialization has become as absurdly extreme in the educational world as in the medical world. . . . Specialization ensures that one cannot follow a problem through from start to finish. It ensures the functioning of the academy of the system's dictum: divide and rule. (Howard Zinn 8-9, 11) [SoundBite #93]

94) We get our ethics from our history and judge our history by our ethics. (Troeltsch, qtd. by Marwick 326) [SoundBite #94]

95) It is the historian's vocation to provide society with a discriminating memory. (Michael Kammen, "On Knowing" 57) [SoundBite #95]

96) Meaning arises because of the shared conceptual maps which groups share together. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #96]

97) National identification is clearly a matter of . . . something transmitted from the past and secured as a collective belonging, something reproduced in myriad imperceptible ways, grounded in everydayness and mundane experience. (Eley and Suny 22) [SoundBite #97]

98) To withhold traditional culture from the school curriculum, and therefore from students, in the name of progressive ideas is in fact an unprogressive action that helps preserve the political and economic status quo. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 23-24) [SoundBite #98]

99) While states throughout the nation have been able to forge at least a grudging consensus on what students should know in the various disciplines, when it comes to history there has been one public squabble after another. (Gary Nash et. al. 263) [SoundBite #99]

100) The historical fiction [Richard Slotkin argues] provides an outlet for the historian's understandings of the period or event in question that cannot be proven according to the rigorous evidential standards demanded by the academic discipline. (Mike Chopra-Gant 57) [SoundBite #1244]

101) Nations, then, are imaginary constructs that depend for their existence on an apparatus of cultural fictions in which imaginative literature plays a decisive role. (Timothy Brennan 49) [SoundBite #101]

102) But in general there has been a reluctance to consider historical narratives as what they most manifestly are: verbal fictions, the contents of which are as much invented as found and the forms of which have more in common with their counterparts in literature than they have with those in the sciences. (Hayden White, Tropics 82) [SoundBite #102]

103) The point is clear. Our young people are woefully ill-educated about the history and basic principles of our nation and our civilization. (William J. Bennett, Children 161) [SoundBite #103]

104) Evidence is of course the lifeblood of history. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. ix) [SoundBite #104]

105) What is history for? . . . My answer is that history is "for" human self-knowledge. It is generally thought to be of importance to man that he should know himself: where knowing himself means knowing not his merely personal peculiarities, the things that distinguish him from other men, but his nature as man. . . . The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is. (R. G. Collingwood 10) [SoundBite #105]

106) Whereas in the nineteen-fifties the [history] texts were childish in the sense that they were naïve and clumsy, they are now childish in the sense that they are polymorphous-perverse. (Frances FitzGerald, America 16) [SoundBite #106]

107) History is able to instruct without inflicting pain by affording an insight into the failures and successes of others. (Diodorus of Agyrium, c. 50 B.C.) [SoundBite #107]

108) The philosopher Etienne Gilson noted the special significance of the perspectives history affords. History, he remarked, is the only laboratory we have in which to test the consequences of thought. (National Standards for United States History 1) [SoundBite #108]

109) The historian must have no country. (John Adams, qtd. in Loewen, Lies My 14) [SoundBite #109]

110) We don't want complicated icons. (James W. Loewen 35) [SoundBite #1269]

111) More easily than the written word, the motion picture seems to let us stare through a window directly at past events, to experience people and places as if we were there. The huge images on the screen and wraparound sounds tend to overwhelm us, swamp our senses and destroy attempts to remain aloof, distanced, or critical. In the movie theater we are, for a time, prisoners of history. (Robert Rosenstone 27) [SoundBite #111]

112) If history is, as the post-structuralists declare, composed of socially constructed narratives, told from particular perspectives to audiences that endlessly refashion them in changing contexts, then what remains for the historian? (Abrash and Walkowitz 203) [SoundBite #112]

113) The quickest and surest way of finding the present in the past, but hardly the soundest, is to put it in there first. (C. H. McIlwain, qtd. by Marwick 326) [SoundBite #113]

114) One of the most visible manifestations of this changing narrative of nation, a change that is evident throughout the spectrum of contemporary life, can be found in the resurgence of films that take the American past as their subject. . . . . the national narrative is currently being reshaped by stories that explore the meaning of nation "from below". . . . a pervasive and growing tendency in contemporary American culture: the desire to remake . . . the "dominant fiction," the ideological reality or "image of social consensus" within which members of a society are asked to identify themselves. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 1) [SoundBite #114]

115) If all I know is what I'm told, when can I learn to tell myself? If believing is seeing, which way do I look? History is quite intriguing, given perception is reality. (Peter Weisman, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #115]

116) Cinematic historians have become powerful storytellers. They are competing effectively with the schoolteacher, the college professor, and the history book author. (Robert Brent Toplin, History ix) [SoundBite #116]

117) Conceptual maps are systems of representations. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #117]

118) At this point, I haven't read all of Loewen's book [Lies My Teacher Told Me], but it strikes a chord in my thoughts about high school English textbooks as well. Starting in the 90s (it may even go back before that) English textbooks have morphed from texts that introduce literature and analysis into feel-good non-offensive anthologies. They've cut out Chaucer's jokes about dirty breeches, they've taken Sir Gawain's sexual temptations away. Dickens is entirely missing, Ben Franklin, it would appear only wrote a kind of moral checklist (forget about the debauchery that inspired it). The list goes on and on, and you would think that the editors would use this void to have more women and African American or AfroBritish writers. Not really, they've filled the books with fluffy little "connections" about real people, you guessed it, overcoming difficult situations (a kind of Helen Keller syndrome?). Now, I respect those people who overcome difficult things, but these "connections" have little to do with reading literature, literary analysis, or composition. One of the most bizarre couplings in the Scott Foresman British Literature text coupled the bubble boy with John Donne's Sonnets. (Edward Tabor, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2960]

119) We have got to have the ugly facts in order to protect us from the official view of reality. (Bill Moyers, qtd. in Loewen, Lies My 214) [SoundBite #120]

120) Whatever the causes, the results of heroification are potentially crippling to students. . . . [It] keeps students in intellectual immaturity. It perpetuates what might be called a Disney version of history. . . . Our children end up without realistic role models to inspire them. Students also develop no understanding of causality in history. (James W. Loewen 35) [SoundBite #1270]

121) One of the jewels in democracy’s crown is an educated citizenry that welcomes new harvests of information, unsettling questions, and fresh visions that illuminate our past as well as our present conditions. (Gary Nash et. al. 277) (hear audio gloss by Stephanie McElroy) [SoundBite #121]

122) Let me translate multiculture-speak for you and put it into more direct language we all can understand: Indians are good. White Europeans are bad. Blacks are good. Asians, we’re not too sure about. Regardless of how they camouflage it, this is the essence of multiculturalism and the kind of psychobabble being disseminated in our institutions of higher learning today. (Rush Limbaugh 69) [SoundBite #122]

123) I wonder if there is a difference between personal memory and society’s memory in terms of active or passive status? One does not think of actively making memories – it is a natural and seemingly passive part of our lives. But how do we view history? Do we actively create it? Or does it have more passive characteristics? Similarly, the amnesiac does not appreciate his or her personal memories until they can no longer be recalled – does society face a similar risk? Will society not appreciate its history (its memories) until they are neglected and can no longer be remembered? What pressure or value does this place upon the telling and sharing of a society’s history? (Kristen Merlo, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1234]

124) The flux in mainstream culture is obvious to all. But stability, not change, is the chief characteristic of cultural literacy. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 29) [SoundBite #124]

125) The historical traumas of the past — slavery, the genocide of Native Americans, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War – have now emerged as important catalysts of cultural redefinition, evidenced in the extraordinary degree of contestation and debate circulating around current historical films that deal with these events, and in controversies over recent museum exhibitions and commemorative reenactments. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 120) [SoundBite #125]

126) The historians are the guardians of tradition, the priests of the cult of nationality, the prophets of social reform, the exponents and upholders of national virtue and glory. (Philip Bagby, qtd. by Marwick 326) [SoundBite #126]

127) History is the summarized experience of society, as experience is the condensed history of the individual. Without experience the individual is as lost as a baby without a mother, a learner driver without a qualified passenger, a potholer without a torch. Without history a society scarcely exists. (Harold Perkin 69) [SoundBite #127]

128) Often history is invoked to justify the ruling class. . . . This is top-dog history, designed to show how noble, virtuous, and inevitable existing power arrangements are. Because it vindicates the status quo and the methods by which power is achieved and maintained, it may be called exculpatory history. Other times history is invoked to justify the victims of power, to vindicate those who reject the status quo. . . . This is underdog history, designed to demonstrate what Bertrand Russell called "the superior virtue of the oppressed" by inventing or exaggerating past glories and purposes. It may be called compensatory history. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 49) [SoundBite #128]

129) Truth is to be understood as a system of ordered procedures for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements. (Michel Foucault 133) [SoundBite #129]

130) What we need, according to the Left, is a history that demythologizes the past, that strips away conventional pieties and ideological pretensions in order to reveal the social, economic and ideological forces that have driven American history and shaped American culture. Instead of history as moral reflection, we get history as cultural unmasking. (David Harlan xix) [SoundBite #130]

131) Universal history, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the History of the Great Men who have worked here. . . . In all epochs of the world's history we shall find the Great Man to have been the indispensable saviour of his epoch. (Thomas Carlyle, qtd. in Commager 24) [SoundBite #131]

132) I guess “This is true” has a really big appeal. (Eric Foner, qtd. in Carnes 17) [SoundBite #132]

133) What brings these different orders of representation -- the epic, the war film, the biographical film, and the topical film -- into the same discursive framework is the concept of reenactment, the act of imaginative recreation that allows the spectator to imagine they are "witnessing again" the events of the past. (Robert Burgoyne 7) [SoundBite #1368]

134) I have realized as I grow older that history, in the end, has more imagination than oneself. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, qtd. in Zamora vi) [SoundBite #134]

135) One of the biggest lessons I learned was to always question what is presented to me. In other words, just because a film is based on history doesn’t necessarily mean it is 100% accurate. History is comprised of different interpretations. Different spins and outlooks can be taken on just about any historical event, and a Hollywood film is simply one director’s interpretation and perspective on that particular happening. Just because Oliver Stone argues that there was more to JFK’s death than conventional wisdom allows does not necessarily mean we live under a horrendous government. What this does mean, however, is that each of us should feel empowered to question the status quo and make sure that we are critical citizens. That is just one example of a big lesson I took from this course, but I would say that’s a pretty important one. Who would have thought that simply by viewing a film I would gain such a profound aspect of what it is to be American. We live in a democratic society, and as such we should not feel guilty about standing up for what we believe in and questioning things that just don’t sit right with us. (Taylor Kite, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2574]

136) Since the scholarly written history possesses the same textuality as other ways of representing history and since all ways of representing history have some basis in "facts" about the past, there is no reason for privileging one mode of historical representation over others. They are all valid (but different) ways of representing the past. (Mike Chopra-Gant 70) [SoundBite #1259]

137) Today, even the very subject of history is in danger of losing its distinct identity, of becoming absorbed in the smorgasbord of this and that known as "social studies." (William J. Bennett, Children 162) [SoundBite #137]

138) Official culture relies on “dogmatic formalism” and the restatement of reality in ideal rather than complex or ambiguous terms. (John Bodnar 13-14) [SoundBite #138]

139) The surprise that adults feel in seeing the changes in the history texts must come from the lingering hope that there is, somewhere out there, an objective truth. (Frances FitzGerald, America 16) [SoundBite #139]

140) For when textbook authors leave out the warts, the problems, the unfortunate character traits, and the mistaken ideas, they reduce heroes from dramatic men and women to melodramatic stick figures. Their inner struggles disappear and they become goody-goody, not merely good. (James W. Loewen 36) [SoundBite #1271]

141) Reason has arranged the infinite variety of History to delight the reader and educate the soul. For inquiring souls there is nothing more attractive than History. (Theophylactus Simocatta, c. A.D. 500) [SoundBite #141]

142) The study of the past with one eye, so to speak, upon the present is the source of all sins and sophistries in history. . . . It is the essence of what we mean by the word "unhistorical." (Herbert Butterfield, qtd. in Carr 35-36) [SoundBite #142]

143) A society sure of its values had needed history only to celebrate the glories of the past, but a society of changing values and consequent confusions also needed history as a utilitarian guide. (Thomas Cochran, qtd. by Marwick 327) [SoundBite #143]

144) It may, therefore, be worthwhile to examine the arguments for "disinterested, neutral, scientific, objective" scholarship. If there is to be a revolution in the uses of knowledge to correspond to the revolution in society, it will have to begin by challenging the rules which sustain the wasting of knowledge. Let me cite a number of them, and argue briefly for new approaches. . . . Rule 5. A scholar must, in order to be "rational," avoid "emotionalism." True, emotion can distort. But it can also enhance. . . . Reason, to be accurate, must be supplemented by emotion. (Howard Zinn 8-9, 12-13) [SoundBite #144]

145) When information which properly belongs to the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and -- eventually -- incapable of determining their own destinies. (Richard M. Nixon, qtd. in Weiner) [SoundBite #145]

146) It is true that history cannot satisfy our appetite when we are hungry, nor keep us warm when the cold wind blows. But it is true that if younger generations do not understand the hardships and triumphs of their elders, then we will be a people without a past. As such, we will be like water without a source, a tree without roots. --Wall inscription, New York, China History Project (Gary Nash et. al. 3) [SoundBite #146]

147) The historian, investigating any event in the past, makes a distinction between what may be called the outside and the inside of an event. . . . The historian is never concerned with either of these to the exclusion of the other. He is investigating not mere events (whereby a mere event I mean one which has only an outside and no inside) but actions, and an action is the unity of the outside and inside of an event. He is interested in the crossing of the Rubicon only in its relation to Republican law. . . . His work may begin by discovering the outside of an event, but it can never end there; he must always remember that the event was an action, and that his main task is to think himself into this action, to discern the thought of its agent. (R. G. Collingwood 213) [SoundBite #147]

148) A case can be made for the ultimate power and influence of visual images, which physically present the viewer with an experience that encapsulates them in a visual world that seems incredibly real, as opposed to literature, which can make less of a definitive impression on the mind. And, yes, perhaps writing in itself does not produce the immediate appearance of meaning. It is about what you carry with you, what you can bring to the written words on a page, and a great part of the meaning of literature is what it is able to create in the reader through these personal associations. You could argue that literature, as a form of art, makes humans “human.” When we read a book we ought not to be passive; it is necessary to think and feel and act, and in this way, reading literature is an incredibly divergent experience from viewing film. The direct meaning of the written word does not hold us captive with its forthright and overwhelming cinematography as does a film. With literature, direct meaning might not be made explicit by an author, it is more indefinable, it sends us back to the history of our own lives and how we perceive the world, which is an ultimately human experience. (Carolyn Stine, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1238]

149) Perhaps the single greatest abuse of history is committed by those who try to make it a respository of moral examples and caveats. The ascription of this function of history is typified in the statement of Lord Bolingbroke that "history is philosophy teaching by examples." The concept of history as instruction for good citizenship was further elaborated by Bolingbroke in the following statement: "An application of any study, that tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and better citizens, is at best but a specious and ingenious sort of idleness. . . . The study of history seems to me, of all the other, the most proper to train us up to private and public virtue." (Lester D. Stephens 103) [SoundBite #149]

150) National cultures are composed not only of cultural institutions, but of symbols and representations. A national culture is a "discourse" -- a way of constructing meanings which influences and organizes both our actions and our conceptions of ourselves. (Stuart Hall 292) [SoundBite #150]

151) The preeminence of the moving image in contemporary culture has reshaped our collective imaginary relation to history. (Robert Burgoyne, "Prosthetic") [SoundBite #151]

152) The aim of the historian, then, is to know the elements of the present by understanding what came into the present from the past, for the present is simply the developing past. . . . The goal of the historian is the living present. (Frederick Jackson Turner 180) [SoundBite #152]

153) [F]ilm must provide a face for the faceless. (Robert A. Rosenstone 36) [SoundBite #153]

154) Imagine a public library of the near future, for instance. There will be long rows of boxes or pillars, properly classified and indexed, of course. At each box a push button and before each box a seat. Suppose you wish to "read up" on a certain episode in Napoleon's life. Instead of consulting all the authorities, wading laboriously through a host of books, and ending bewildered, without a clear idea of exactly what did happen and confused at every point by conflicting opinions about what did happen, you will merely seat yourself at a properly adjusted window, in a scientifically prepared room, press the button, and actually see what happened. (D. W. Griffith, qtd. in Stevens 2) [SoundBite #154]

155) Cinematic history, a curious blend of entertainment and interpretation. (Robert Brent Toplin, History x) [SoundBite #155]

156) The task of the historian is to understand the peoples of the past better than they understood themselves. (Herbert Butterfield, qtd. by Marwick 327) [SoundBite #156]

157) Intellectual honesty requires us to concede at the onset that history has little practical utility comparable to the physical sciences. As the great British historian George Macaulay Trevelyan wrote in 1913, "No one can by the knowledge of history, however profound, invent the steam engine, or light a town, or cure cancer, or make wheat grow near the artic circle." (William J. Bennett, Children 163) [SoundBite #157]

158) Slippery history! (Frances FitzGerald, America 16) [SoundBite #158]

159) Movies are like commercials for history. You get intrigued, then you go and do some research. Some times you find that the movie portrays things accurately, sometimes you don't, but you are responsible to find these things out. Movies may or may not be historically correct but it shouldn't matter since it isn't the responsibility of the movie makers to teach you anything, it is up to us to learn for ourselves. (James Clewley, Lehigh University) (hear audio gloss by Lindsay Totams) [SoundBite #159]

160) This chapter is about heroification, a degenerative process (much like calcification) that makes people over into heroes. Through this process, our educational media turn flesh-and-blood individuals into pious, perfect creatures without conflicts, pain, credibility, or human interest. (James W. Loewen 19) [SoundBite #1272]

161) It is essential to understand that films are a commodity intended to make money to understanding their relationship to politics and of politics' relationship to film. The imperative that films make a profit means seeking large audiences, and seeking large audiences requires caution about a film's subject matter and treatment. As with any other genuinely mass medium, the content and form of the films is largely dictated by economic necessities. (Phillip L. Gianos 1) [SoundBite #161]

162) Partisanship often adds zest to historical writing; for partisanship is an expression of interest and excitement and passion, and these can stir the reader as judiciousness might not. (Henry Steele Commager 55) [SoundBite #162]

163) Public memory is produced from a political discussion that involves not so much specific economic or moral problems but rather fundamental issues about the entire existence of a society: its organization, structure of power, and the very meaning of its past and present. (John Bodnar 14) [SoundBite #163]

164) Historians of the last century were striving to make their subject intellectually respectable in an age of science. . . . They thought of the true scientist as one who deals in plain, unvarnished facts, never making assumptions and never being harried by doubt and dispute over fundamentals. They thought of art as the antithesis of science, as if imagination deals only with the imaginary and can be indulged only when knowledge fails. (Herbert J. Muller 28) [SoundBite #133]

165) Pay attention to what they tell you to forget. (Muriel Rukeyser, qtd. in Loewen, Lies Across 18) [SoundBite #165]

166) Divisions may spring up, ill blood may burn, parties be formed, and interests may seem to clash; but the great bonds of the nation are linked to what is past. (Edward Everett, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 4) [SoundBite #166]

167) Historians have become personalities on the public stage, applying makeup for the TV cameras, miking up for radio talk shows, and writing op-ed essays for the local newspapers. (Gary Nash et. al. 7) [SoundBite #167]

168) Images have no fixed meanings. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #168]

169) Historical memory is the key to self-identity, to seeing one's place in the stream of time, and one's connectedness with all of humankind. . . . Denied knowledge of one's roots and of one's place in the great stream of human history, the individual is deprived of the fullest sense of self and of that sense of shared community on which one's fullest personal development as well as responsible citizenship depends. (National Standards for United States History 2) [SoundBite #169]

170) School is the traditional place for acculturating children into our national life. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 110) [SoundBite #170]

171) To speak of the necessity of history is to say that history matters essentially. Human beings, like animals, propagate, preserve themselves and their young, seek shelter, and store food. We invent tools, alter the environment, communicate with one another by means of symbols, and speculate about our mortality. Once that level of social consciousness has been reached, we become concerned with immortality. The desire of men and women to survive their own death has been the single most important force compelling them to preserve and record the past. History is the means whereby we assert the continuity of human life -- its creation is one of the earliest humanizing activities of homo sapiens. (Gerda Lerner 106) [SoundBite #171]

172) My purpose is merely to show how closely the work of the historian mirrors the society in which he works. It is not merely the events that are in flux. The historian himself is in flux. When you take up an historical work, it is not enough to look for the author's name on the title-page: look also for the date of publication or writing -- it is sometimes even more revealing. (Edward Hallett Carr 36) [SoundBite #172]

173) Among academic historians, agreement is widespread today that history has been presented -- whether in school textbooks, college courses, museum exhibits, or mass media -- in a narrow and deeply distorted way. (Gary B. Nash, "American" 135) [SoundBite #173]

174) Films that take history as their subject are so controversial, I believe, mainly because of the extraordinary social power and influence that seems to have accrued to what has been called the cinematic rewriting of history. (Robert Burgoyne, "Prosthetic") [SoundBite #174]

175) The aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture of the world, to give us a new way of looking at things. (James Joll, qtd. by Marwick 327) [SoundBite #175]

176) We see things not as they are but as we are. (Anais Nin, qtd. in Loewen, Lies My 239) [SoundBite #178]

177) A common memory of belonging, borne by habits, customs, dialects, song, dance, pastimes, shared geography, superstition, and so on, but also fears, anxieties, antipathies, hurts, resentments is the indistinct but indispensable condition of [nationalism]. For nationalism to do its work, ordinary people need to see themselves as the bearers of an identity centered elsewhere, imagine themselves as an abstract community. (Eley and Suny 22) [SoundBite #177]

178) We like things that are "BASED ON A TRUE STORY" because it forces us to feel; we like the feeling of obligation to empathize with the protagonists. We like the feeling that by merely watching a movie, we are honoring someone; when we watch a historically based movie, our entertainment has taken on a new, deeper level. Finally, we like the "based on a true story" label because it allows us to escape the escapism of entertainment. Rather than fly off to a faraway Hollywood Land fantasy, we become involved with what is placed before us. It feels grittier and more authentic. (Elizabeth Dunn, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1239]

179) Modern citizens are born in nations and are taught to perceive the nation as an intimate quality of identity, as intimate and inevitable as biologically-rooted affiliations through gender or family. National subjects are taught to value certain abstract signs and stories as a part of their intrinsic relation to themselves, to all "citizens," and to the national terrain; there is said to be a common "national" character. (Lauren Berlant 20-21) [SoundBite #179]

180) Textbooks unfold history without real drama or suspense, only melodrama. (James W. Loewen 165) [SoundBite #1277]

181) Interpretation is dependent on historical and cultural context. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #181]

182) Film is the only art form, apart from architecture, that routinely requires financing involving millions of dollars: as Orson Welles noted, a poet needs a pen, a painter a brush, and a filmmaker an army. Film armies -- what Welles called "this terribly expensive paintbox" -- cost money. (Phillip L. Gianos 2) [SoundBite #182]

183) If the audience don’t like a picture, they have a good reason. The public is never wrong. I don’t go for all this thing that when I have a failure, it is because the audience doesn’t have the taste or education, or isn’t sensitive enough. The public pays money. It wants to be entertained. That’s all I know. (Samuel Goldwyn, qtd. in Mintz and Roberts 11) [SoundBite #183]

184) A gifted teacher of history is not only someone who encourages his or her students to develop their own powers of criticism, observation, and analysis. He or she is also someone who can convey the emotional and romantic aspect of history. (William J. Bennett, Children 164) [SoundBite #188]

185) I think that cinematic historians should be applauded for the efforts that they put into creating a visual portrayal of history. I think that the American population today has lost the desire to read its history. I think that the idea of "Hollywoodization" in film is real but how much different is it than what happens in literature. Books are made for entertainment as well. The fact that films get scoffed at because they are made to entertain is ridiculous, because books attempt to do the same thing or they would never sell a thing. Cinematic historians just allow the audience to see a historical event in a different light. (Jessica Roche, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #185]

186) I am urging value-laden historiography. . . . What kind of awareness moves people in humanistic directions, and how can historical writing create such awareness, such movement? I can think of five ways in which history can be useful. . . . 1. We can intensify, expand, sharpen our perception of how bad things are, for the victims of the world. . . . 2. We can expose the pretensions of government to either neutrality or beneficence. . . . 3. We can expose the ideology that pervades our culture -- using "ideology" in Mannheim's sense: rationale for the going order. . . . 4. We can recapture those few moments in the past which show the possibility of a better way of life than that which has dominated the earth thus far. . . . 5. We can show how good social movements can go wrong, how leaders can betray their followers, how rebels can become bureaucrats, how ideals can become frozen and reified. (Howard Zinn 36, 42, 45, 47, 51) [SoundBite #190]

187) [There is] the critical distinction between what happened in the past versus what we say about it. The former is "the past," the latter "history." (James W. Loewen, Lies Across 21) [SoundBite #187]

188) What about all of the good things that have happened? Aren't those events we would like to happen again? And if a filmmaker fudges a little on the actual history, maybe enough people will believe that version and in the future events won't play out in the same manner as they did the first time. (Kelsey Duffy, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1217]

189) The past has no meaningful existence except as it exists for us, as it is given meaning by us. In piety and justice we try to see it as it was, or as it seemed to the men who lived it, but even this poetic interest is not disinterested; in our contemplation of the drama, we see what is most pertinent for our own hopes and fears. Hence the past keeps changing with the present. Every age has to rewrite its history, re-create the past; in every age a different Christ dies on the Cross, and is resurrected to a different end. . . . Our task is to create a "usable past," for our own living purposes. (Herbert J. Muller 33) [SoundBite #189]

190) Historians view the constant search for new perspectives as the lifeblood of historical understanding. (Eric Foner, xvi) [SoundBite #1363]

191) History is unceasingly controversial because it provides so much of the substance for the way a society defines itself and considers what it wants to be. (Gary Nash et. al. 7) [SoundBite #191]

192) Film, in effect, appears to invoke the emotional certitude we associate with memory. Like memory, film is associated with the body; it engages the viewer at the somatic level, immersing the spectator in experiences and impressions that, like memories, seem to be "burned in." (Robert Burgoyne,) [SoundBite #200]

193) History is necessary, not only to make life agreeable, but also to endow it with moral significance. (Luigi Guicciardini, c. 1500 A.D.) [SoundBite #193]

194) Commemorative activities almost always stress the desirability of maintaining social order and existing institutions, the need to avoid disorder or dramatic changes, and the dominance of citizen rights. (John Bodnar 19) [SoundBite #194]

195) In a postliterate world, it is possible that visual culture will once again change the nature of our relationship to the past. This does not mean giving up on attempts at truth, but somehow recognizing that there may be more than one sort of historical truth, or that the truths conveyed in the visual media may be different from, but not necessarily in conflict with, truths conveyed in words. (Robert Rosenstone 43) [SoundBite #195]

196) History free of all values cannot be written. Indeed, it is a concept almost impossible to understand, for men will scarcely take the trouble to inquire laboriously into something which they set no value on. (W. H. B. Court, qtd. by Marwick 327) [SoundBite #196]

197) History is the life of memory. (Cicero) [SoundBite #197]

198) Making history means form-giving and meaning-giving. . . . As Carl Becker said: "Left to themselves, the facts do not speak . . . for all practical purposes there is no fact till someone affirms it. . . . Since history is . . . an imaginative reconstruction of vanished events its form and substance are inseparable." (Gerda Lerner 107) [SoundBite #198]

199) The processes of nature can therefore be properly described as sequences of mere events, but those of history cannot. They are not processes of mere events but processes of actions, which have an inner side, consisting of processes of thought. All history is the history of thought. . . . The history of thought, and therefore all history, is the re-enactment of past thought in the historian's own mind. . . . The historian not only re-enacts past thought, but he re-enacts it in the context of his own knowledge and therefore, in re-enacting it, criticizes it, forms his own judgment of its value, corrects whatever errors he can discern in it. (R. G. Collingwood 215) [SoundBite #199]

200) From Indian wars to slavery to Vietnam, textbook authors not only sidestep putting questions of right and wrong to our past actions but even avoid acknowledging that Americans of the time did so. (James W. Loewen 175) [SoundBite #1279]

201) If we cannot face our history honestly, we cannot learn from the past. . . . Surely we don't want to be people of the lie, complicit with the worst in American history because we cannot stand to acknowledge it. The way we heal is to come face-to-face with the truth, and then we can better deal with it and each other. (James W. Loewen, Lies Across 22) [SoundBite #201]

202) The traditional view of the relation between history and memory is a relatively simple one. The historian's function is to be a "remembrancer," the custodian of the memory of public events which are put down in writing for the benefit of the actors, to give them fame, and also for the benefit of posterity, to learn from their example. (Peter Burke 97) [SoundBite #202]

203) We are never as steeped in history as when we pretend not to be. (Michel-Rolph Trouillot xix) [SoundBite #203]

204) History, we can confidently assert, is useful in the sense that art and music, poetry and flowers, religion and philosophy are useful. Without it -- as with these -- life would be poorer and meaner; without it we should be denied some of those intellectual and moral experiences which give meaning and richness to life. Surely it is no accident that the study of history has been the solace of many of the noblest minds of every generation. (Henry Steele Commager 73) [SoundBite #204]

205) Rather than an inviolable, scientific "truth" about past events, history is an unstable and provisional construct that is as much the result of the cultural politics of the present in which the particular history is written as it is the product of the raw data about the past which it is based. (Mike Chopra-Gant 63) [SoundBite #1246]

206) American historical film has been a failure at handling multifaceted historical issues -- at engaging in argument. And no wonder; many of the films have been neoromantic moral melodrama, which are the opposite of argument. (Kenneth M. Cameron 236) [SoundBite #206]

207) Memory is, by definition, a term which directs our attention not to the past but to the past-present relation. It is because “the past” has this living active existence in the present that it matters so much politically. (Johnson and Dawson, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 5) [SoundBite #207]

208) National cultures construct identities by producing meanings about "The nation" with which we can "identify"; these are contained in the stories which are told about it, memories which connect its present with its past, and images which are constructed of it. (Stuart Hall 293) [SoundBite #208]

209) History, despite its wrenching pain / Cannot be outlived, and if faced / With courage, need not be lived again. (Maya Angelou, "On the Pulse of the Morning") [SoundBite #209]

210) Among good teachers, the idea persists that teaching is about transmitting culture. (Lynne V. Cheyney 6) [SoundBite #210]

211) But the most fundamental political lesson of virtually all American films regardless of subject is that of the most enduring of all movie conventions, the happy ending: films show that, in the end, things will be all right, love will find a way, the good guys will win. Problems may be encountered -- indeed for dramatic purposes must be encountered -- but the resolution is nearly always a happy one. That the world is essentially fair and just is a deeply powerful political lesson. (Phillip L. Gianos 4) [SoundBite #211]

212) [C]ontention over the past is as old as written history itself . . . and . . . continuously reexamining the past . . . is the greatest service historians can render in a democracy. (Gary Nash et. al. 8) [SoundBite #212]

213) A mere collector of supposed facts is as useful as a collector of matchboxes. (Lucien Febvre, qtd. by Marwick 327) [SoundBite #213]

214) History in the post-modern moment becomes histories and questions. It asks: Whose history gets told? In whose name? For what purpose? Post-modernism is about histories not told, retold, untold. History as it never was. Histories forgotten, hidden, invisible, considered unimportant, changed, eradicated. It's about the refusal to see history as linear, as leading straight up to today in some recognizable pattern -- all set for us to make sense of. It's about chance. It's about power. It's about information. (Brenda Marshall 4) [SoundBite #214]

215) In many instances films dealing with historical events are the bearers of the mark of inaccuracy; these films represent shadowy images of obscured history, all for the sake of the marketplace. Time and again accuracy is sacrificed to the gods of popular culture -- entertainment and escape. On their own these elements are beneficial to society, but they become dangerous when they replace truth and meaning. As Tomas Gutiérrez Alea remarks, “popular ought to respond not only to immediate interests [. . .] but also to the basic needs and the final objective: transforming reality and bettering humankind” (The Viewer’s Dialectic 115). This criterion is important for all films, but it especially applies to the duty that has been entrusted to filmmakers who deal in the historical realm. To encompass a historical moment in film involves a dialogue between fact, event, and creativity. While their creative abilities may influence and alter the historical moment to make it palatable to a larger audience, the filmmakers also have the obligation to instruct humanity. (Edward Tabor, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3664]

216) Power and ideology attempts to fix the meaning of images and languages. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #216]

217) The past has gone and history is what historians make of it when they go to work. History is the labour of historians. (Keith Jenkins, Re-Thinking 6) [SoundBite #217]

218) At the beginning of this century, "history is the biography of great men" [Carlyle] was still a reputable dictum. (Edward Hallett Carr 39) [SoundBite #218]

219) Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly found, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. (Karl Marx, qtd. in Zinn 54-55) [SoundBite #219]

220) By looking back at history, we learn what has failed and what has succeeded, which allows us to use that knowledge even though we ourselves may not have experienced it. We do not need to re-experience the pain and horror of the Holocaust in order to understand that a ruler like Hitler can never again be allowed to come into power. We do not need to have been there for the Civil War to appreciate the value of freedom. If one truly soaks in history and allows it to become a part of one's self, much as an actual experience would be, then history has served its purpose. (Kathryn Burke, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1240]

221) The artificial but real experiences afforded by the cinema "might actually install in individuals 'symptoms' through which they didn't actually live, but to which they subsequently have a kind of experiential relationship." (Robert Burgoyne, "Prosthetic") [SoundBite #221]

222) Which picture audiences choose to see is where some interesting history begins. The Hunger Games has grossed approximately 400 million dollars and counting. Is it a work of great significance other than boffo box office? Probably not, but apparently it’s very entertaining and a big hit with the American public, and I imagine it will achieve a commercial success similar to Avatar. Now if we look at the Roger and Me, Dances with Wolves, Apocalypse Now and Apollo 13’s of the world, the picture’s significance takes on a new meaning. The masses flocked (albeit not as generously) to these films and might have been left with a new perspective on some old history. Kind of like what people get from reading a book, only at warp speed. (Lynn Farley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2956]

223) That the historian must use his imagination is a commonplace: to quote Macaulay's Essay on History, "a perfect historian must possess an imagination sufficiently powerful to make his narrative affecting and picturesque"; but this is to underestimate the part played by the historical imagination, that "blind but indispensable faculty" without which, as Kant has shown, we could never perceive the world around us, is indispensable in the same way to history: it is this which, operating not capriciously as fancy but in its a priori form, does the entire work of historical construction. (R. G. Collingwood 241) [SoundBite #223]

224) By the latter part of the twentieth century public memory remains a product of elite manipulation, symbolic interaction, and contested discourse. (John Bodnar 20) [SoundBite #224]

225) Patriotism should be based on the positive things that our country has done, and I believe that there must be some hiding somewhere. Instead of being lied to, I want our children, and our childrens' children to be made aware of the struggles, the conquests, and the downfalls that our country has been through. I (optimistically) believe that there is a way to keep patriotism alive without changing the past. (Jennifer Lackner, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #229]

226) American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it. (James Baldwin 11) [SoundBite #226]

227) Film, with its unique powers of representation, now struggles for a place within a cultural tradition which has long privileged the written word. It's challenge is great, for it may be that to acknowledge the authenticity of the visual is to accept a new relationship to the word itself. (Robert Rosenstone 43-44) [SoundBite #227]

228) This power is what textbooks omit: they give no inkling that ideas matter. (James W. Loewen 179) [SoundBite #1280]

229) "The masses" are flocking to the movies, not the libraries. (Teresa Salvatore) [SoundBite #1226]

230) A man without a nation defies the recognized categories and provokes revulsion. . . . A man must have a nationality as he must have a nose and two ears. (Ernest Gellner 6) [SoundBite #230]

231) Most [American historical films] are assertions. They brook no argument. Assertion, except in the very simplest cases, is poor history. Most of even the simple events of American history are still surrounded by argument (motive, detail, meaning). A style that cannot embody argument cannot write good history. (Kenneth M. Cameron 236) [SoundBite #231]

232) If history is to be correctly taught, a film can't be used as the primary medium; there needs to be the written word to back up the pictures that we see. (James Clewley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #232]

233) All histories . . . are suasive. History is always history for someone, and that someone cannot be the past itself for the past does not have a self. (Keith Jenkins, What 22) [SoundBite #233]

234) The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence. (T. S. Eliot, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 5) [SoundBite #234]

235) History: philosophy teaching by experience. (old saying) [SoundBite #220]

236) [H]istory is a source of personal identity, a means of acquiring a sense of "connectedness" with a tradition, a community, a past. It is a way of locating ourselves in time and space, of acquiring the values and ideals by which to live our lives, and of returning to the wellsprings of our being as a people and a nation. (William J. Bennett, Children 165) [SoundBite #236]

237) Frantz Fanon's classic investigation of national identity in The Wretched of the Earth argues that it is the purpose of national culture "to make the totality of the nation a reality to each citizen. It is to make the history of the nation part of the personal experience of each of its citizens." Ideally, the national culture feeds the "passionate" fantasy of the citizen to be empowered by a collective activity and identification that is also realized and preserved by a politically legitimate nation-state. (Lauren Berlant 21) [SoundBite #237]

238) History functions to satisfy a variety of human needs: 1. History as memory and as a source of personal identity . . . . 2. History as collective immortality. . . . 3. History as cultural tradition. . . . 4. History as explanation. (Gerda Lerner 106-7) [SoundBite #238]

239) Anna Comnena described history as a "bulwark" against the "stream of time" which carries everything away into "the depths of oblivion." (Peter Burke 97) [SoundBite #239]

240) Watching movies about American history makes us challenge what we know and what we have been told. Movies often provide new interpretations that are enlightening and therefore should be part of the normal curriculum in history classes. (Dana Shakked, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2537]

241) Historian Michael H. Frisch has argued that the relationship between history and memory is peculiarly fractured in contemporary American life. He is partially correct because the social diversity of the United States really means that we have multiple memories rather than a monolithic collective memory. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 687-88) [SoundBite #241]

242) The motion picture industry must remain free…I want no censorship. (President Franklin Roosevelt, qtd. in Mintz and Roberts 19) [SoundBite #242]

243) Even some explicitly “historical” films are chiefly important for what they say about the era in which they were made. Cecile B. DeMille's lavish depiction of Ancient Egypt in his The Ten Commandments (1956) served as a dusty mirror to the soulless materialism he perceived in 1950s America. (Marc C. Carnes 10) [SoundBite #243]

244) In the act of separating story from non-story, we [historians] wield the most powerful yet dangerous tool of the narrative form. It is a commonplace of modern literary theory that the very authority with which narrative presents its vision of reality is achieved by obscuring large portions of that reality. Narrative succeeds to the extent that it hides the discontinuities, ellipses, and contradictory experiences that would undermine the intended meaning of its story. Whatever its overt purpose, it cannot avoid a covert exercise of power: it inevitably sanctions some voices while silencing others. (William Cronon 1349-50) [SoundBite #244]

245) While the director’s and screenwriter’s explicit denials of any historiographical intent provide convenient defenses against claims of distortion and historical inaccuracy, and while their disavowal may provide some excuse for inattention to the minutiae of historical events, it is difficult for the makers of a film that is in some way based on historical facts to escape the demands of historical fidelity so easily. (Mike Chopra-Gant 80) [SoundBite #1247]

246) The justification of all historical study must ultimately be that it enhances our self-consciousness, enables us to see ourselves in perspective, and helps us towards that greater freedom which comes from self-knowledge. (Keith Thomas, qtd. by Marwick 328) [SoundBite #246]

247) Personal ownership of the past has always been a vital strand in the ideology of all ruling classes. (J. H. Plumb, qtd. in Nash, "American" 144) [SoundBite #247]

248) If the sin of the old history was to impose a false unity on diverse experiences and perspectives, the problem for the new history is to give voice to the diversity of perspectives while still constructing overall themes and explanatory paradigms. (Gary B. Nash, "American" 146) [SoundBite #248]

249) History in Burckhardt's words is "the record of what one age finds worthy of note in another." The past is intelligible to us only in light of the present; and we can fully understand the present only in the light of the past. To enable a man to understand the society of the past and to increase his mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history. (Edward Hallett Carr 49) [SoundBite #249]

250) To yearn for a single, and usually simple, explanation of the chaotic materials of the past, to search for a single thread in that most tangled of all tangled skeins, is a sign of immaturity. (Henry Steele Commager 88) [SoundBite #250]

251) When filmmakers criticize historians for applying an inappropriate set of criteria to the evaluation of film, they often cite the problem of comprehensiveness. Too often, they argue, academics examine films with an interest in finding a complete, balanced, and detailed exposition on a subject. Scholars expect films to explore multiple causes of behavior and events and point out other accounts of what happened, much as an historian attempts in footnotes or reflective analysis. Academics, they claim, readily expect the same breadth of coverage they seek in a book and complain too frequently that a film "leaves out" important information or alternative explanations. But is it valid to evaluate films by the standard of comprehensiveness? (Robert Brent Toplin, "Filmmaker" 1213) [SoundBite #251]

252) Although nobody wants to meddle with the private and personal message of a movie, sometimes it is proper to bring a motion picture into public consciousness, at least as a beginning point for interpretation and understanding, and to free the work from the iron grip of aesthetics so that audiences will understand its cultural meaning. For this purpose, we need to return to the power of words, and realize that sometimes a word, properly chosen and used, can be worth a thousand pictures. (Ray B. Browne ix-x) [SoundBite #252]

253) [There is] the emergence of a hybrid national narrative that turns the nostalgic past into the disruptive "anterior" and displaces the historical present -- opens it up to other histories and incommensurable narrative subjects. (Homi Bhabha 318) [SoundBite #253]

254) The human mind seems to require a usable past because historical memory is a key to self-identity, a way of comprehending one’s place in the stream of time, and a means of making some sense of humankind’s long story. It is nearly impossible to step outside of time, to cut oneself off from the past as if its hand were not upon us. The study of history, moreover, reveals the long, hard path of human striving for dignity. (Gary Nash et. al. 8-9) [SoundBite #254]

255) Rather than generating historical amnesia, as is so often claimed, film and media may generate its opposite, an inability to stop obsessing about an event. (Robert Burgoyne, "Prosthetic") [SoundBite #255]

256) As a form of narrative interpretation that brings to spectacular life the sweeping themes of the historical past, the Hollywood historical film has played a decisive role in articulating an image of America that informs, or in some cases challenges, our sense of national self-identity, an image of a nation that is then projected to the world. (Robert Burgoyne 2) [SoundBite #1370]

257) Leaders continue to use the past to foster patriotism and civic duty and ordinary people continue to accept, reformulate, and ignore such messages. (John Bodnar 20) [SoundBite #257]

258) By prosthetic memories I mean memories which do not come from a person's lived experience in any strict sense. Prosthetic memories are memories that circulate publicly, that are not organically based, but that are nevertheless experienced with one's own body by means of a wide range of cultural technologies; prosthetic memories thus become part of one's personal archive of experience, informing not only one's subjectivity, but also one's relationship to the present and future tenses. These memories are not lived, nor are they "natural," and yet they both organize and energize the bodies and subjectivities that take them on. (Alison Landsberg, "Prosthetic" 33) [SoundBite #258]

259) The political and social structure, including the principal political values of a people, directly shapes the notions of time and of history that prevail among them. (Meyer Fortes, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 5) [SoundBite #259]

260) I assume that history is not a well-ordered city (despite the neat stacks of the library) but a jungle. I would be foolish to claim that my guidance is fallible. The only thing I am really sure of is that we who plunge into the jungle need to think about what we are doing, because there is somewhere we want to go. (Howard Zinn 55) [SoundBite #260]

261) Textbook authors need not choose sides, either. They could present several interpretations, along with an overview of the historical support for each, and invite students to come to their own conclusions. Such challenges are not the textbook authors’ style, however. They seem compelled to present the "right" answer to all questions, even unresolved controversies. (James W. Loewen 269) [SoundBite #1285]

262) The only way we, as historians, can fulfill our responsibility to the dead is by making sure their works do not get lost in the past -- in other words, by raising them up from the graveyard of dead contexts and helping them take up new lives among the living. The best way to respect the dead is to help them speak to the living. (David Harlan xxxii-xxxiii) [SoundBite #262]

263) Conquerors have often destroyed historical monuments and the preserved record of the past of the conquered; sometimes, they have also destroyed the intellectuals who remember too much. Without history, no nation can enjoy legitimacy or command patriotic allegiance. (Gerda Lerner 108) [SoundBite #263]

264) Not satisfied with merely depicting the past, Hollywood has often attempted to influence history by turning out films consciously designed to change public attitudes toward matters of social or political importance. (Peter Rollins 1) [SoundBite #264]

265) The ideal of history, in the words of Morris Cohen, is "an imaginative reconstruction of the past which is scientific in its determinations and artistic in its formulation." (Herbert J. Muller 29) [SoundBite #265]

266) Every reality has experience and reflection -- never just one. We do both at the same time. History and representation are the same thing. History is happening and being represented at the same time. (Peter Weisman, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #266]

267) There is "historical fiction" and there is something one might call "history as fiction". . . . The literary imagination is boundless -- and should be boundless. History is an imaginative construction, too; but the historical imagination must be bounded, closely bounded. . . . The correspondence to actuality in history, the struggle to describe objectively what actually happened, however dimly we may perceive it, is the essence of history. If it's history, it can be disproved. You can't disprove a novel, but you can disprove history; and that seems to me all the difference in the world. . . . Creativity in science, the physicist Richard Feynman said, is imagination in a straitjacket. So, too, is creativity in history. (Bernard Bailyn 70, 72, 73, 75) [SoundBite #267]

268) History is not a succession of events, it is the links between them. (E. E. Evans-Pritchard, qtd. by Marwick 328) [SoundBite #268]

269) More Americans have learned the story of the South during the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind than from all the learned volumes of the period. (Beck and Clowers 1:ix) [SoundBite #269]

270) The traditional account of the relation between memory and history [is] memory reflects what actually happened and history reflects memory. (Peter Burke 97) [SoundBite #270]

271) History is not obvious and inert but challenged and ever changing. (Donald F. Stevens 4) [SoundBite #271]

272) Nostalgia, with its wistful memories, is essentially history without guilt. Heritage is something that suffuses us with pride rather than shame. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 688) [SoundBite #272]

273) I distinguish among three kinds of strategy that can be used by historians to gain different kinds of "explanatory effect." I call these different strategies explanation by formal argument, explanation by emplotment, and explanation by ideological implication. Within each of these different strategies I identify four possible modes of articulation by which the historian can gain an explanatory affect of a specific kind. For arguments these are Formism, Organicism, Mechanism, and Contextualism; for emplotments there are the archetypes of Romance, Comedy, Tragedy, and Satire; and for the ideological implication there are the tactics of Anarchism, Conservatism, Radicalism, and Liberalism. A specific combination of modes comprises what I call the historiograhical "style" of a particular historian or philosopher of history. (Hayden White, Metahistory x) [SoundBite #273]

274) The melting pot idea hasn’t worked out as some thought it would, and now some people say that the people of the United States are more like a salad bowl than a melting pot. (Frances FitzGerald, America 8) [SoundBite #21]

275) One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only remember that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect men and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth. (W. E. B. Du Bois 722) [SoundBite #275]

276) High school students hate History. (James W. Loewen, Lies My 12) [SoundBite #276]

277) Every time someone enters a movie theatre or pops in a DVD to watch a historical movie that part of history is being told again and is relearned by everyone watching. I believe that the idea that history is in the past is flawed. History is being made every second. History is not just what the "historians" tell us, but what we remember as people, what we remember as a city, what we remember as a nation or what we remember as a planet. History is available on many levels, and it is how each of us remembers and interprets it that creates the history we know. (Kelsey Duffy, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1219]

278) History as a weapon is an abuse of history. The high purpose of history is not the presentation of self nor the vindication of identity but the recognition of complexity and the search for knowledge. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 72) [SoundBite #278]

279) The corruption does not lie in the use of history as therapy; the corruption lies in the fact that the history being presented itself is corrupt. (Douglas McKerns, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #279]

280) The history-as-facts argument is not simply an uneducated view. It is also an ideological position of traditionalists and the political Right that particular facts, traditions, and heroic personalities, all untainted by “interpretation,” represent the “true” and “objective” history that citizens ought to know. (Gary Nash et. al. 10) [SoundBite #280]

281) Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it. (Oscar Wilde) [SoundBite #281]

282) The world/past comes to us always already as stories and . . . we cannot get out of these stories (narratives) to check if they correspond to the real world/past, because these "always already" narratives constitute "reality." (Keith Jenkins, Re-Thinking 9) [SoundBite #282]

283) Acquiring a "historically defined sense of belonging" is especially important in the United States, for this nation was created in order to realize a specific political vision, and it is the memory of that political vision which defines us as Americans. Memory is the glue that holds our political community together, and history is organized memory. Only by studying American history, by celebrating its heroes anew in each generation, by understanding its failures as well as lauding its achievements can students grasp the value of our political tradition. (William J. Bennett, Children 165) [SoundBite #283]

284) I have been forced to postulate a deep level of consciousness on which a historical thinker chooses conceptual strategies by which to explain or represent his data. On this level, I believe, the historian performs an essentially poetic act, in which he prefigures the historical field. . . . I call these types of prefiguration by the names of the four tropes of poetic language: Metaphor, Metonymy, Synecdoche, and Irony. (Hayden White, Metahistory x) [SoundBite #284]

285) To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child. (Cicero) [SoundBite #285]

286) For much of our history we have been present-minded; yet a usable past has been needed to give shape and substance to national identity. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 6) [SoundBite #286]

287) The shaping of a past worthy of public commemoration in the present is contested and involves a struggle for supremacy between advocates of various political ideas and sentiments. (John Bodnar 13) [SoundBite #287]

288) Surely film, with its exceptional capacity for verisimilitude, can show us history as it was, while the dry prose of an academic text can only tell us about it in a way that makes it seem more distant, less alive. (Mike Chopra-Gant 51) [SoundBite #1248]

289) Imagine an outline for the teaching of American history in which George Washington makes only a fleeting appearance and is never described as our first president. Or in which the foundings of the Sierra Club and the National Organization for Women are considered noteworthy events, but the first gathering of the U. S. Congress is not. This is, in fact, the version of history set forth in the soon-to-be-released National Standards for United States History. (Lynne V. Cheyney,) [SoundBite #290]

290) Who owns history? Everyone and no one -- which is why the study of the past is a constantly evolving, never-ending journey of discovery. (Eric Foner xix) [SoundBite #1364]

291) What I find crucial here is that film is imagined as an instrument with the power to "suture" viewers into pasts they have not lead; the cinema offers spectators with diverse backgrounds and ancestries a shared archive of experience -- what Halbwachs would call a "collective framework." It therefore authorizes and enables individuals to inhabit subjectivities they might themselves have lived and to which they have no "natural" connection. The cinema as an institution, then, might be imagined as a space -- a heterotopia -- in which individuals experience a bodily mimetic encounter with a collective past that they never actually led. (Alison Landsberg, "Prosthetic" 22) [SoundBite #291]

292) Here's exactly what we do: we shake up the system. We don't let what happened to us happen to the children of today -- we don't let what happened to us happen to our children. History is not only taught in the classroom but in the home. Maybe more importantly too. I'd rather listen to my father talk about history than any high school teacher. Legend, myth, tales, cultural significance is passed down from generation to generation -- sure there are some differences, but the overlying cultural conglomerant is there. We are part of the problem and need to be more of the solution. (Douglas McKerns, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #292]

293) This is what may be called the common-sense view of history. History consists of a corpus of ascertained facts. The facts are available to the historian in documents, inscriptions and so on, like fish on the fishmonger's slab. The historian collects them, takes them home and cooks and serves them in whatever style appeals to him. (Edward Hallett Carr 3) [SoundBite #293]

294) A radical history, then, would expose the limitations of governmental reform, the connections of government to wealth and prestige, the tendencies of governments toward war and xenophobia, the play of money and power behind the presumed neutrality of law. It would illustrate the role of government in maintaining things as they are, whether by force, or deception, or by a skilled combination of both -- whether by deliberate plan or by the concatenations of thousands of individuals playing roles according to the expectations around them. (Howard Zinn 44) [SoundBite #294]

295) Every civilization has skeletons in its closets. Honest history calls for the unexpurgated record. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 93) [SoundBite #295]

296) Historians tend to use written works of history to critique visual history as if that written history were itself something solid and unproblematic. (Robert Rosenstone 49) [SoundBite #296]

297) The chronicles of American history are strewn with myths, legends, fables, folklore, misinformation, and misconceptions. Some of the myth-making is inadvertent, but much of it is deliberate. Patriotism and filiopietism have set many a tall-tale in motion, but so have political partisanship and ideological zeal. (Paul F. Boller, "Preface") [SoundBite #297]

298) It is the mark of civilised man that he seeks to understand his traditions, and to criticise them, not to swallow them whole. (M. I. Finley, qtd. by Marwick 328) [SoundBite #298]

299) History hinges upon memory: the necessarily selective, collective remembrance that suits a society. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 688) [SoundBite #299]

300) The National Symbolic thus seeks to produce a fantasy of national integration, although the content of this fantasy is a matter of cultural debate and historical transformation. (Lauren Berlant 22) [SoundBite #300]

301) American history is not dull any longer; it is a sensuous experience. (Frances FitzGerald, America 16) [SoundBite #123]

302) Most of the patriotic symbols and rituals that Americans now take for granted or think of as timeless representations of national culture are in fact quite recent. . . . "The Star-Spangled Banner" was finally approved as the official national anthem in 1931. . . . Moreover, these symbols of the nation emerged, not from a harmonious national consensus, but rather out of fiercely contested debates. (Cecilia Elizabeth O' Leary 3) [SoundBite #302]

303) My first answer therefore to the question, What is History?, is that it is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue between the present and the past. (Edward Hallett Carr 24) [SoundBite #303]

304) A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form. Man . . . does not improvise. The nation, like the individual, is the culmination of a long past of endeavours, sacrifice, and devotion. Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate, for the ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past, great men, glory . . . this is the social capital upon which one bases a national idea. (Ernest Renan 19) [SoundBite #304]

305) What did you learn in school today, / Dear little boy of mine? / I learned our government must be strong. / It’s always right and never wrong… / That’s what I learned in school. --Song by Tom Paxon (Gary Nash et. al. 25) [SoundBite #305]

306) [There are] three resonant concepts of what constitutes a national culture as "an imagined community": memories from the past; the desire to live together; the perpetuation of the heritage. (Stuart Hall 296) [SoundBite #306]

307) The writers of history books, the makers of history, and we the now-critics of this jumbled heap of acquired knowledge must sift through the reality of others' perceptions to find what is real. (Douglas McKerns, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #307]

308) There is the tradition which shapes a large part of our lives, perpetuating customs, habits of behavior, rites, ethical norms and beliefs. There is nothing mysterious about tradition in this sense; it is transmitted from one generation to the next, partly by the ordinary process of living in society, without any conscious effort on anyone’s part, partly by men whose function it is to do so: priests, schoolmasters, parents, judges, party leaders, censors, neighbors. There is also nothing reliable about this sort of tradition; that is to say, its explanations and narrations are, as anyone can judge by a minimum of observation, rarely quite accurate, and sometimes altogether false. Reliability is, of course, irrelevant; so long as the tradition is accepted, it works, and it must work if the society is not to fall apart. (Moses Finley, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 7) [SoundBite #308]

309) In the long run of history, the names of individuals fade, but the great movements which have been inspired and defended by the mass of virtue, which we call the national spirit, remain as solid achievements and mark the advance which civilization attains. (Newton W. Baker, qtd. in Rollins and O'Connor, Hollywood's World 4) [SoundBite #309]

310) It's interesting to consider how much history is left by the wayside in some mixed up attempt to save face. We live in a world of revisionist history where whenever we -- as a society -- don't like the way we are portrayed, we cut the offending nugget of historical importance out. (Kristen Englehardt, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1835]

311) Blacks and Indians confront American democracy with its most tragic challenge. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 58) [SoundBite #311]

312) While films often fail to deliver a comprehensive view of a subject, they may, nevertheless, contribute to understanding as stimuli for thought. Films work well, not in presenting a complete chronology of events . . . but in exciting feeling and emotions. The medium functions as poetry, not as an encyclopedia. (Robert Brent Toplin, "Filmmaker" 1213) [SoundBite #312]

313) History is a line we ourselves must rig up, to a past we ourselves must populate. (David Harlan xxxii) [SoundBite #225]

314) If not in the sense of overt propaganda, then, how are we to understand the political nature of Hollywood film? The answer is in an indirect, mediated, and symbolic process whereby Hollywood films reference salient clusters of social and political values and, through the operations of narrative, create a dialogue through and with these values and, on occasion, transform or revise them (within the world of narrative). Hollywood entertainment films may embody, question, or critique constellations of established social values that underlie our attitudes and assumptions about real historical, social, or political events or conditions (e.g., the Vietnam war, Corporate and consumer society). . . . "Political" is understood here not just in terms of parties and electoral institutions, or the design of overt propaganda, but as the realm of collective values and fantasies that underlie and inform socioeconomic systems and behavior in the real world. To the extent that Hollywood entertainment films dramatize these systems and this behavior and allude to real historical events, and do it by way of appeals to collective desires and fantasies, such films are deservedly seen as political works. (Stephen Prince 7-8) [SoundBite #314]

315) Watching historical films is a new way to look at history. Historical films may not be as impartial and factual as textbooks, always involving, as they do, the personal perspectives of directors, writers, or producers. However, historical films leave room for the audience to fill in the blanks. The audience, intrigued by such films, should dig deeper into the historical event and establish their own thoughts on the matter. So, good historical films should not only entertain but motivate viewers to take a deeper look at the historical events. (Jaeyong Shim, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3663]

316) As a man may hate a memory, men may hate history, but they cannot get along without it. (Boyd C. Shafer 154) [SoundBite #316]

317) Remembering the past and writing about it no longer seem the innocent activities they were once taken to be. Neither memories nor histories seem objective any longer. In both cases we are learning to take account of conscious or unconscious selection, interpretation and distortion. In both cases this selection, interpretation and distortion is socially conditioned. It is not the work of individuals alone. (Peter Burke 98) [SoundBite #317]

318) If we do our jobs, our projects will not only inform but motivate our readers to dive even deeper into the research we have started in an effort to knock down barriers that have blocked out voices from the past. (Nathan Laver, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #318]

319) The matter of how much slack is acceptable in the rope of creative liberty remains an intriguing question. (Robert Brent Toplin, History 2) [SoundBite #319]

320) Too many voices can cause a kind of false construction without any basis in an actual truth. It’s something like reading Faulkner’s Absalom Absalom, where a history is told several times without any way to verify the truth of the voices. I suppose we could be left like Quentin Compson, to try and piece together a history in our dorm room. (Edward Tabor, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2963]

321) Although the practical value of a knowledge of history is commonly exaggerated, since men do not appear to learn readily from the mistakes of their ancestors, and historians themselves are not always conspicuous for their wisdom , I suppose that few would deny the practical necessity of this knowledge. (Herbert J. Muller 30) [SoundBite #321]

322) Ideologically speaking, the histories of the fifties were implacable, seamless. Inside their covers, America was perfect: the greatest nation in the world, and the embodiment of democracy, freedom, and technological progress. (Frances FitzGerald, America 10) [SoundBite #57]

323) Not all facts about the past are historical facts, or are treated as such by the historian. What is the criterion which distinguishes the facts of history from other facts about the past? (Edward Hallett Carr 4) [SoundBite #323]

324) It is possible to make six points that apply equally to the dramatic film and the documentary. 1. The mainstream film tells history as a story, a tale with a beginning, middle, and an end. . . . 2. Film insists on history as the story of individuals . . . both dramatic features and documentaries put individuals in the forefront of the historical process. Which means that the solution of their personal problems tends to substitute itself for the solution of the historical problems. . . . 3. Film offers us history as the story of a closed, completed, and simple past. It provides no alternative possibilities. . . . 4. Film emotionalizes, personalizes, and dramatizes history. . . . 5. Film . . . gives us the "look" of the past. . . . 6. Films shows history as process. (Robert Rosenstone 55-60) [SoundBite #324]

325) If my goal was to instill patriotism into children without lying, I would choose to teach history in a type of pyramid manner, similar to the way math, for example, is taught. We learn math by starting with certain building blocks -- numbers, addition subtraction, etc. We always learn operations in a logical order. eg, we can't subtract unless we learn to add, we can't add unless we understand what #'s represent. Constantly our math analysis becomes more detailed and we continue to use our basic functions in more complex manners. Most importantly, we are told from the get-go that our math WILL become more complicated. We know that we will get to more complicated stuff later. Well, I think that history could be taught in a similar manner. Start with basic facts that children can understand, eg, Native Americans settled North America, many explorers searched for this new land, Columbus did "find" America, etc. Keep it simple and truthful, always telling children that the history is more complicated, and they will learn more detailed, and sometimes less pleasant facts later. (Wendy Kuhn, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #310]

326) Where and how did we lose our moorings? With such a great start, why did we allow liberalism, moral relativism, and secular humanism to poison our nation’s soul? And what can we do to recapture the original American spirit of freedom and individualism? (Rush Limbaugh 76) [SoundBite #326]

327) Left to itself, a child will not grow into a thriving creature; Tarzan is pure fantasy. To thrive, a child needs to learn the traditions of the particular human society and culture it is born into. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 31) [SoundBite #327]

328) The use of history as therapy means the corruption of history as history. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 93) [SoundBite #328]

329) My chief hope is to provoke more historical writing which is consciously activist on behalf of the kind of world which history has not yet disclosed, but perhaps hinted at. (Howard Zinn 3) [SoundBite #329]

330) I'm curious as to whether current technology will begin to eliminate or further propagate a historian's bias. For instance, I'm specifically thinking of Wikipedia and how a group of editors is able to write about past events that have occurred since Wikipedia's founding. I feel like they bring together a collective thought that eliminates bias and puts all the facts out on the table, while also showing through quotes how certain people react to those events in different ways. (Travis Statham, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1836]

331) We should be very cautious, however, about taking for granted the cohesion, clarity, and retentiveness of either civic or popular memory. Abundant evidence demonstrates that both can be sorely truncated or blurred. How often have we been exhorted to recall some public catastrophe, often a humiliation, precisely because amnesia seems ominous. “Remember the Alamo!” “Remember the Maine!” “Remember Pearl Harbor!” (Michael Kammen, Mystic 9) [SoundBite #331]

332) Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually memory yields. (Friedrich Nietzsche 86) [SoundBite #332]

333) That we must attain full consciousness is so true it makes me want to buy billboards. (Peter Weisman, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #333]

334) Why are history textbooks so bad? Nationalism is one of the culprits. Textbooks are often muddled by the conflicting desires to promote inquiry and to indoctrinate blind patriotism. (James W. Loewen, Lies My 14) [SoundBite #334]

335) History is a complicated tale of multiple voices contesting for authority. (Abrash and Walkowitz 205) [SoundBite #335]

336) As Sir Winston Churchill put it, "The further and deeper you look back, the more you can see forward." (Boyd C. Shafer 154) [SoundBite #336]

337) Let it be said that we told our children their story, and the whole story, the long record of our glories, of our failures, of our aspirations, our sins, our achievements and our victories. Then let us leave them to determine their own view of it all: America in the totality of its acts. (William J. Bennett, Children 166) [SoundBite #337]

338) Let me start with the ideology of nationalism. . . . The nation is the source of all political and social power, and loyalty to the nation overrides all other allegiances. . . . Human beings must identify with a nation if they want to be free and realize themselves. (Anthony D. Smith 74) [SoundBite #338]

339) The most obvious but perhaps least satisfactory way that historians can use movies is as a mirror of the age. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. xi) [SoundBite #339]

340) The neo-conservative educational critics champion heroic stories told from one point of view that make the power hierarchies of the present appear natural and inevitable. (George Lipsitz 24) [SoundBite #340]

341) I hope that every good historian is, in at least some of the things he or she does, "popular." History is not an esoteric subject, the preserve of scholarly mandarins. (Bernard Bailyn 69) [SoundBite #341]

342) Once there was a single narrative of national history that most Americans accepted as part of their heritage. Now there is an increasing emphasis on the diversity of ethnic, racial, and gender experience and a deep skepticism about whether the narrative of America's achievements comprises anything more than a self-congratulatory story masking the power of elites. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 1) [SoundBite #342]

343) The essential problem for the intellectual is . . . ascertaining the possibility of constituting a new politics of truth. The problem is not changing people's consciousnesses -- or what's in their heads -- but the political, economic, institutional regime of the production of truth. It's not a matter of emancipating truth from every system of power . . . but of detaching the power of truth from the forms of hegemony, social, economic and cultural, within which it operates at the present time. (Michel Foucault 133) [SoundBite #343]

344) As Eric Hobsbawm has noted, "The mere setting up of a state is not sufficient in itself to create a nation." Nationalism also depends on the mobilization of masses of people and the imaginative process, to use Benedict Anderson's insight, of uniting disparate communities into a "deep horizontal comradeship," irrespective of how much the nation is divided by "actual inequality and exploitation." (Cecilia Elizabeth O' Leary 4) [SoundBite #344]

345) The relation of man to his environment is the relation of the historian to his theme. The historian is neither the humble slave, nor the tyrannical master of his facts. The relation between the historian and his facts is one of equality, of give-and-take. As any working historian knows, if he stops to reflect what he is doing as he thinks and writes, the historian is engaged on a continuous process of moulding his facts to his interpretation and his interpretation to his facts. It is impossible to assign primacy to one over the other. (Edward Hallett Carr 24) [SoundBite #345]

346) Using history is much like reviewing past tests for an upcoming exam. You look at the old exams to see what the thought processes are and how they turned out. History is like an outline for future events; you get the big areas covered, but the details can never be fully accounted for. (James Clewley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #346]

347) Postmodernism is essentially an extension and elaboration of the old idea that we have no way of seeing or thinking or desiring that we have not acquired from the surrounding culture. We can experience or reflect on the world -- or on ourselves, for that matter -- only through one or another culturally derived form of experiencing or reflecting. (David Harlan xx) [SoundBite #205]

348) History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we make today. (Henry Ford) [SoundBite #348]

349) The dark visions that Hollywood offers of our present and our past not only influence the attitudes of children and adults in this country, but increasingly shape the image of America in the world at large. (Michael Medved 233) [SoundBite #349]

350) When we study history, we glean greater understanding of the people, ideas, events, and other factors that have directly or indirectly influenced our lives. And we are less likely to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before us. The world did not begin when we were born. We are all characters in a real-life epic drama that began thousands of years ago. But with no understanding of the past, we are like actors shoved out onto the stage of life in the midst of a long-running play that we don’t understand. We are disoriented. We are ignorant of what’s going on, why things are as they are, or where we fit into the script. We have no understanding of the plot, the major characters, or anything that preceded our arrival on stage. Furthermore, what’s the point of the whole production? We are truly clueless without any sense of history and the lessons it can teach. (William Doherty, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1839]

351) Halbwachs argued that memories are constructed by social groups. Individuals remember, in the literal, physical sense. However, it is social groups which determine what is "memorable" and also how it will be remembered. Individuals identify with public events of importance to their group. They "remember" a good deal that they have not experienced directly. (Peter Burke 98) [SoundBite #351]

352) The goal of the antiquarian is the dead past; the goal of the historian is the living present. Droysen has put this true conception into the statement, "History is the 'Know Thyself' of humanity -- the self-consciousness of mankind." (Fredrick Jackson Turner 180) [SoundBite #352]

353) We have no collective memory, none. If it happened more than six hours ago it is gone…. What this says to me is that we just don’t know how to think about the past—and so we try not to…. There is neither memory nor history nor whole people nor even any sense of time. (Meg Greenfield, Kammen, Mystic 9) [SoundBite #353]

354) It has long been a defense offered by historical novelists that their fiction is "more true" than what historians do; would that it were so. (Kenneth M. Cameron 239) [SoundBite #354]

355) Written history is, of course, not devoid of emotion, but usually it points to emotion rather than inviting us to experience it. A historian has to be a very good writer to make us feel emotion while the poorest of filmmakers can easily touch our feelings. Film thus raises the following issues: to what extent do we wish emotion to become a historical category? Part of historical understanding? Does history gain something by being empathic? Does film, in short, add to our understanding of the past by making us feel immediately and deeply about particular historical people, events, and situations? (Robert Rosenstone 59) [SoundBite #355]

356) Thus the neoconservatives are not so much against the way history is taught and written, as they are against the complex realities of American history itself. Their desire to elevate a few heroes from the past above their contemporaries, to suppress difference and disagreement, to accept uncritically the past and present as "givens" independent of human agency, rejects the complicated and plural history that has actually happened in favor a mythical construct invented to impose cultural unity and obedience to the present government. Even worse, they profess to "save" historical inquiry by returning it to an uncritical glorification of the past and present, to an institutionalized cheerleading for the victors of the past, no matter how villainous or immoral they may have been. They laud history while fearing historical inquiry, because that inquiry might lead to a critical reappropriation of the past by aggrieved groups. One might call this history a kind of ancestor worship, but its bias toward a certain kind of experience -- white male upper-class experience -- means that most of us are being called upon to worship not our own, but someone else's ancestors. (George Lipsitz 27) [SoundBite #356]

357) We cannot and should not accept another's opinions as our own. Children need a basic moral education and to learn to question authority when these morals are broken. (Wendy Kuhn, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #357]

358) Non-WASPs were the invisible men (and women) in the American past. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 53) [SoundBite #358]

359) A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life. A nation's existence is, if you will pardon the metaphor, a daily plebiscite, just as an individual's existence is a perpetual affirmation of life. (Ernest Renan 19) [SoundBite #359]

360) Mark Lytle characterized his own textbook as "a McDonald's version of history--if it has any flavor, people won't buy it." (James W. Loewen 277) [SoundBite #1309]

361) History should not just be facts out of a textbook; rather it should be an interactive activity encouraging individuals to interpret the event and to logically draw their own opinions and conclusions. Film makes this possible. (Brian Carroll, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1840]

362) [Peter Davis] pointed out that he would not want to get his history from historical films any more than he would want to get his science from science fiction. (Robert Brent Toplin, "Filmmaker" 1213) [SoundBite #362]

363) Is history suposed to create ethnic pride and self-confidence? Or should history convey some kind of objective truth about the past? Must history be continually rewritten to undo the perpetuation of racial and sexual stereotypes? (Joyce Appleby et. al. 5) [SoundBite #363]

364) If a picture, as we generally agree, is worth a thousand words, then a motion picture or a movie, is worth millions of words because it is words in action. (Ray B. Browne ix) [SoundBite #364]

365) Take national anthems, for example, sung on national holidays. No matter how banal the words and mediocre the tunes, there is in this singing an experience of simultaneity. At precisely such moments, people wholly unknown to each other utter the same verses to the same melody. The image: unisonance. (Benedict Anderson 145) [SoundBite #365]

366) The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin. (Rousseau, qtd. in Hirsh xiii) [SoundBite #366]

367) The present is a void, and the American writer floats in that void because the past that survives in the common mind of the present is a past without living value. But is this the only possible past? If we need another past so badly, is it inconceivable that we might discover one, that we might even invent one? Discover, invent a usuable past we certainly can, and that is what a vital criticism always does. . . . The past is an inexhaustible storehouse of apt aptitudes and adaptable ideals; it opens of itself at the touch of desire; it yields up, now this treasure, now that, to anyone who comes to it armed with a capacity for personal choices. If, then, we cannot use the past our professors offer us, is there any reason why we should not create others of our own? . . . Every people selects from the experience of every other people whatever contributes most vitally to its own development. (Van Wyck Brooks 339) [SoundBite #367]

368) We are forever drawing upon the past. It not only constitutes all the "experience" by which we have learned: it is the source of our major interests, our claims, our rights, and our duties. It is the source of our very identity. (Herbert J. Muller 30-31) [SoundBite #368]

369) To withhold traditional culture from the school curriculum, and therefore from students, in the name of progressive ideas is in fact an unprogressive action that helps preserve the political and economic status quo. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 23-24) [SoundBite #369]

370) History is what you make of it. Give the right director a camera, a cast, and a reason, and he can convince the world that 1929 was a good year for the economy. (Jeffrey Herrigel, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2525]

371) We [historians] are accustomed to keeping our social commitment extracurricular and our scholarly work safely neutral. (Howard Zinn 5) [SoundBite #371]

372) More people today get their history in movie theaters, from broadcast and cable television, and on prerecorded videocassette tapes than from reading print. During the nineteenth century, historical narratives by William H. Prescott, George Bancroft, and Thomas Carlyle were widely read. Today, history is more likely to be interpreted by Roland Jaffe, Bernardo Bertolucci, or Oliver Stone. Carl Sandburg is said to have remarked that Hollywood was a more effective educational institution than Harvard. (Donald F. Stevens 4) [SoundBite #372]

373) The crisis in historical thinking is certainly real. The dislocations of the past two centuries, the propaganda apparatuses of totalitarian powers, disillusionment with the paradigms of the Enlightenment, and popular culture itself have all served to make the search for a precious and communicable past one of the most pressing problems of our time. (George Lipsitz 36) [SoundBite #373]

374) The passion for tidiness, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has written, "is the historian's occupational disease." (Henry Steele Commager 86) [SoundBite #228]

375) If collective memory (usually a code phrase for what is remembered by the dominant civic culture) and popular memory (usually referring to ordinary folks) are both abstractions that have to be handled with care, what (if anything) can we assert with assurance? --That public interest in the past pulses; it comes and goes. --That we have highly selective memories of what we have been taught about the past. --That the past may be mobilized to serve partisan purposes. --That the past is commercialized for the sake of tourism and related enterprises. --That invocations of the past (as tradition) may occur as a means of resisting change or of achieving innovations. --That history is an essential ingredient in defining national, group, and personal identity. --That the past and its sustaining evidence may give pleasure for purely aesthetic and non-utilitarian reasons. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 10) [SoundBite #375]

376) On those relatively rare occasions when a contemporary filmmaker takes us on a journey into the nation’s past, the implicit purpose almost always involves a searing indictment of some enormous American misdeed. (Michael Medved 225) [SoundBite #374]

377) To put it crudely, however different its members may be in terms of class, gender or race, a national culture seeks to unify them into one cultural identity, to represent them all as belonging to the same great national family. (Stuart Hall 296) [SoundBite #377]

378) It is the uneasiness with the fictional aspect of dramatic historical films that has led many theorists and historians to argue from a “presentist” position. For these writers, including the influential historian Pierre Sorlin, historical films can provide historical knowledge only about the period in which they were made. The past in historical films becomes an allegory of the present; the milieu in which the film was produced stamps every frame. (Robert Burgoyne 10) [SoundBite #1372]

379) History, like literature, speaks directly to curiosity about human experience, but it takes concrete details to open the door into an imaginative recreation of the past. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 152) [SoundBite #379]

380) Films have a way of transporting you into someone else's body, experience, and thoughts. Historical films, in particular, are able to recreate events that have shaped our society and contribute to our mentality and ideals. With that, movies "based on true story" not only entrance the audience because of their entertainment value but because of their closeness to our lives. These films have influence over a widespread population, and they have become not only entertainment sources but educational resources. They have the power to impact thought, drive, and motivate as we as a culture move forward and learn from past mistakes. (Jena Viviano, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2526]

381) How else can any past, which by definition comprises events, processes, structures and so forth, considered to be no longer perceivable, be represented in either consciousness or discourse except in an "imaginary" way. (Hayden White, Content 57) [SoundBite #381]

382) If it is true that the word can do many things that images cannot, what about the reverse – don’t images carry ideas and information that cannot be handled by the word? (Robert A. Rosenstone 5) [SoundBite #382]

383) Honest history is the weapon of freedom. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 52) [SoundBite #383]

384) Although modern nations claim to be bound together by essential unities and progressively unfolding histories -- whether linked to civil or ethnic narratives -- what appears as a national consensus is only accomplished through the articulation of basically unstable and often conflicting interests and their suturing into a sense of a unified national identity. (Cecilia Elizabeth O' Leary 4) [SoundBite #384]

385) Cinematic historians do not simply create plots out of the documentary record of specific incidents or incorporate their own personal impressions; they also establish and dramatize their portrayals through images drawn from the rich mythology of American culture. . . . Consequently, the filmmakers produce part history, part myth. (Robert Brent Toplin, History 12) [SoundBite #385]

386) It used to be said that the facts speak for themselves. This is, of course, untrue. The facts speak only when the historian calls on them; it is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context. It was, I think, one of Pirandello's characters who said that a fact is like a sack -- it won't stand up till you've put something in it. (Edward Hallett Carr 5) [SoundBite #386]

387) We must accept that film cannot be seen as a window onto the past. What happens on the screen can never be more than an approximation of what was said and done in the past; what happens on the screen does not depict but rather points to, the events of the past. (Robert Rosenstone 71) [SoundBite #387]

388) We put our sense of nationhood at risk by failing to familiarize our young people with the story of how the society in which they live came to be. Knowledge of the ideas that have molded us and the ideals that have mattered to us functions as a kind of civic glue. Our history and literature give us symbols to share; they help us all, no matter how diverse our backgrounds, feel part of a common undertaking. (Lynne V. Cheyney 7) [SoundBite #388]

389) History is the polemics of the victor. (William F. Buckley, Jr., qtd. in Loewen 38) [SoundBite #389]

390) When an audience sees that a film is "based on a true story," we are inclined to believe that nearly everything is accurate. But the basis of film is interpretation. It is our duty as thinking viewers to question what we have seen. What really happened, and what is creative storytelling? Is the filmmaker trying to recreate history, prove a point, or both? (Karen Haberland, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2527]

391) Films rarely give audiences a sense of the challenges in historical interpretation. They address subjects authoritatively, suggesting that the investigation works with an orderly universe of evidence. They fail to show that a filmmaker must give shape and meaning to the sources. In short, films rarely point out that facts do not speak for themselves and that the filmmaker must speak for them. (Robert Brent Toplin, "Filmmaker" 1216-17) [SoundBite #391]

392) Interpretation . . . the life-blood of history. . . . Our examination of the relation of the historian to the facts of history finds us, therefore, in an apparently precarious situation, navigating delicately between the Scylla of an untenable theory of history as an objective compilation of facts, of the unqualified primacy of fact over interpretation, and the Charbydis of an equally untenable theory of history as the subjective product of the mind of the historian who establishes the facts of history and masters them through the process of interpretation, between a view of history having the center of gravity in the past and a view of having the center of gravity in the present. (Edward Hallett Carr 22-23) [SoundBite #392]

393) The idea that nations control the memory of their citizens pushes to the fore the question of which persons are in charge of the nation. They may be virtuous leaders, cultural elites, locally powerful minorities, pluralistic coalitions, triumphant interest groups, or the winning competitors in the latest electoral donnybrook. Whichever they are, they are manifestly not the whole people. (Joyce Appleby et. al.155) [SoundBite #393]

394) Knowledge is a form of power. True, force is the most direct form of power, and government has a monopoly of that (as Max Weber once pointed out). (Howard Zinn 6) [SoundBite #394]

395) Memory is more likely to be activated by contestation, and amnesia is more likely to be induced by the desire for reconciliation. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 13) [SoundBite #395]

396) Halbwachs made a sharp distinction between collective memory, which was a social construct, and written history, which he considered -- in a somewhat old-fashioned positivist way -- to be objective. (Peter Burke 98) [SoundBite #396]

397) Nationality is not a natural consequence or outgrowth of common culture of long antiquity; nations are not so much discovered or awakened, as they are created or invented by the labors of intellectuals. (Eley and Suny 23) [SoundBite #397]

398) The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. (Milan Kundera, qtd. by Schlesinger 52) [SoundBite #398]

399) The main role of history, then, is to provide enabling knowledge and frame of reference for these important matters so that present behaviour is coloured and shaped by assumptions which are realistic because they are rooted in a past which actually happened, not tendentious travesties or fictions in fancy dress. (P. J. Rogers 39) [SoundBite #399]

400) We must not pretend that, unlike all previous generations, we write true history. (James W. Loewen 286) [SoundBite #1314]

401) History is neither written nor made without love or hate, Mommsen wrote. The historian is inevitably an artist of a kind as he composes his narrative, selecting, shaping, coloring. (Herbert J. Muller 31) [SoundBite #401]

402) The fact that the grim mood of the moment happens to fall much closer to the industry's abiding alienation is no evidence that the entertainment establishment has suddenly begun responding to the people; it suggests, if anything, that the public may finally be feeling the influence of Hollywood's many years of persistent negativity. (Michael Medved 224) [SoundBite #402]

403) Postmodern historians think that human beings can live ironic, reflexive, historicised lives, without the magic, incantations, mythologisations and mystifications spun by certaintist historians. (Keith Jenkins, What 38) [SoundBite #403]

404) All profound changes of consciousness, by their very nature, bring with them characteristic amnesias. Out of such oblivions, in specific historical circumstances, spring narratives. After experiencing the physiological and emotional changes produced by puberty, it is impossible to "remember" the consciousness of childhood. . . . Out of this estrangement comes a conception of personhood, identity . . . which, because it can not be "remembered," must be narrated. . . . As with modern persons, so it is with nations. Awareness of being imbedded in secular, serial time, with all its implications of continuity, yet of "forgetting" the experience of this continuity . . . engenders the need for a narrative of "identity." (Benedict Anderson 204-5) [SoundBite #404]

405) It is possible to view historical consciousness as a superficially Western prejudice by which the presumed superiority of modern, industrial society can be retroactively substantiated. (Hayden White, Metahistory 2) [SoundBite #405]

406) Hollywood films may get all the details wrong, they may perpetuate misinformation and ignorance about everything from the frontier to the family, yet they might still encourage ways of asking and answering questions conducive to historical investigation. (George Lipsitz 165) [SoundBite #406]

407) A sense of the past is a way of being in the present. At its best it is a way of arguing with ourselves, a means of rethinking who we might become by rethinking who we once were. (David Harlan 209) [SoundBite #407]

408) Accurate historical knowledge is essential for social sanity. (Bernard Bailyn 12) [SoundBite #408]

409) We in a way know more about the past than the people who lived in it. (Keith Jenkins, Re-Thinking 13) [SoundBite #409]

410) The history of America is composed of dates, wars, economic downfalls, epidemics of disease, social conflict, treaties, and politics. All gathered and put cohesively together in numerous volumes of books. Yet, events are always open to interpretation. Just because the cover of a film says "based on a true story" does not mean that the screen will be as concrete as the information in a encyclopedia. (Adrianna Abreu, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2531]

411) History has the special ability to reveal the ludicrousness of those beliefs which glue us all to the social frame of our fathers. It also can reinforce that frame with great power, and has done so most of the time. Our problem is to turn the power of history -- which can work both ways -- to the job of demystification. (Howard Zinn 45) [SoundBite #274]

412) Most modern nations consist of disparate cultures which were only unified by a lengthy process of violent conquest -- that is, the forcible suppression of cultural difference. . . . these violent beginnings which stand at the origins of modern nations have first to be "forgotten" before allegiance to a more unified, homogeneous national identity could begin to be forged. (Stuart Hall 297) [SoundBite #412]

413) This is a pioneering work, and pioneering is an adventure in trial and error. In time such pioneers will open up a varied and complex wilderness of evidence for the modern historian. (Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. xiii) [SoundBite #413]

414) Never neutral, nationalism always creates, reflects, and reproduces structures of cultural power. Like most nation-states, the United States did not develop coherently or homogeneously. Instead, the drive to build the nation reveals paradoxical processes of unifying and dividing, consolidating, and fracturing, remembrance and amnesia. (Cecilia Elizabeth O' Leary 4) [SoundBite #414]

415) Historical film seems to be one of the most passionately critiqued film genres. Perhaps we are so passionate about it because it is our story, the human story. We want to know our past and where we came from. The threat of the misrepresentation of ancestors, the tainting of heralded heroes, and the revelation of unsavory truths lay heavily on the minds of those viewing historical fiction. Those who choose to watch historical cinema are actively seeking to learn, whether consciously or subconsciously, so it is unsurprising that what is taught about such a personal topic comes under heavy criticism. (Katherine Prosswimmer, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3662]

416) Of all the elements that make up a historical film, fiction, or invention, has to be the most problematic (for historians). To accept invention is, of course, to change significantly the way we think about history. . . . Accepting the changes in history that mainstream film proposes is not to collapse all standards of historical truth, but to accept another way of understanding our relationship to the past, another way of pursuing that conversation about where we came from, where we are going, who we are. Film neither replaces written history nor supplements it. Film stands adjacent to written history, as it does to other forms of dealing with the past such as memory and the oral tradition. (Robert A. Rosenstone 76-77) (hear audio gloss by John "Jaycee" Culhane) [SoundBite #416]

417) Wars have played a fundamental role in stimulating, defining, justifying, periodizing, and eventually filtering American memories and traditions. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 13) [SoundBite #417]

418) The historian is necessarily selective. The belief in a hard core of historical facts existing objectively and independently of the interpretation of the historian is a preposterous fallacy, but one which it is very hard to eradicate. . . . [The] element of interpretation enters into every fact of history. (Edward Hallett Carr 6-7) [SoundBite #418]

419) Historical writing always has some effect on us. It may reinforce our passivity; it may activate us. In any case the historian cannot choose to be neutral; he writes on a moving train. (Howard Zinn 35) [SoundBite #419]

420) Film is the internal struggle between entertainment value and historical accuracy. Often times what we perceive as thrilling is simply a director's distortion of a true event. When watching movies--first and foremost enjoy them--but also find fact and separate the director's opinions and interpretations from the true story the movie is trying to tell. Without these true stories, we would have no movies to make. (AndrewTye, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2532]

421) The future is dark, the present burdensome; only the past, dead and finished, bears contemplation. Those who look upon it have survived it; they are its products and its victors. No wonder, therefore, that men concern themselves with history. (Geoffrey Elton 11) [SoundBite #421]

422) A picture is worth a thousand words. (old saying) [SoundBite #422]

423) Americans see history as a straight line and themselves standing at the cutting edge of it as representatives for all mankind. (Frances Fitzgerald, Fire 8) [SoundBite #423]

424) The ferocity of the current argument about how United States history should be taught reveals the important fact that the stories recounted about the past have power. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 157) [SoundBite #424]

425) I do not know if there is any other field of knowledge which suffers so badly as history from the sheer blind repetitions that occur year after year, and book to book. (Herbert Butterfield, qtd. in Vaughn 222) [SoundBite #425]

426) History is a window in which people of the present can look into the past and perhaps see how much has occurred or in some cases how much regression has taken place. Without the opportunity to look into the past we as humans lose the knowledge and the power to prevent the same mistakes from re-occuring. As it has been said "History repeats itself." (Jessica Roche, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #426]

427) Why do myths attach themselves to some individuals (living or dead) and not to others? . . . In my view, the central element in the explanation of this mythogenesis is the perception (conscious or unconscious) of a "fit" in some respect or respects between a particular individual and a current stereotype of a hero or villain. (Peter Burke 104) [SoundBite #427]

428) The distinction between historian and poet is not in the one writing prose and the other verse. You might put the work of Herodotus into verse, and it would still be a species of history. [The distinction is] that the one describes the thing that has been and the other a kind of thing that might be. (Aristotle, qtd. in Hamerow 240) [SoundBite #428]

429) The public does not expect an introduction to historians' debates when watching a film about the past. Rarely do films point direct to historiographical questions, and they almost never give specific attention to the scholars who are behind them. Yet films, by their presentation of evidence and attempts to draw conclusions, take sides. (Robert Brent Toplin, "Filmmaker" 1218) [SoundBite #429]

430) It is not surprising that most modern historians have accepted E. A. Freeman's dictum that "History is past politics, past politics present history." (Henry Steele Commager 20) [SoundBite #110]

431) We may list six main attributes of ethnic community [one in which people are self-aware that they form a separate collectivity] . . . 1. a collective proper name 2. a myth of common ancestry 3. shared historical memories 4. one or more differentiating elements of common culture 5. an association with a specific "homeland" 6. a sense of solidarity for significant sectors of the population. (Anthony D. Smith 21) [SoundBite #431]

432) Nevertheless [though the historian is inevitably a sort of artist] history must always aim at literal truth. . . . A lover of history loves it straight, without chasers of fancy; he is especially irritated by merely picturesque history, or by such bastardized offspring as the fictionalized biography. This concern for literal truth helps to explain why historians, the lovers of the past, have been more disposed to condemn their predecessors than poets have been. (Herbert J. Muller 31) [SoundBite #432]

433) The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it. . . . The question is how far it is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-creating. (Friedrich Nietzsche, qtd. in Carr 21) [SoundBite #433]

434) The invocation of history is indispensable to nations and groups in the process of making themselves. How else can a people establish the legitimacy of its personality, the continuity of its tradition, the correctness of its course? (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 48) [SoundBite #434]

435) Documentary films . . . are also mediated by our imaginations and can suffer from falsification through juxtaposition and problems of connecting images with texts. (Donald F. Stevens 7) [SoundBite #435]

436) The history of national memory is hard to separate from the history of patriotism. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 13) [SoundBite #436]

437) Social historians during the past three decades have concentrated upon the experience of America's outsiders -- the poor, the persecuted, and the foreign. Their scholarship has revealed the fragility of community in an economic order which promotes competition for jobs and money and exposes working-class families to the inevitable ups and downs of the business cycle. The structural punishments of capitalism, they argue, have been denied through a presentation of reality which ascribes poverty to character flaws and bad luck. To tell the story of striking miners, Southern sharecroppers, or factory-working mothers, as they have, does more than give voice to the previously inaudible, it exposes the costs of capitalism. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 158) [SoundBite #437]

438) Instead of thinking of national cultures as unified, we should think of them as constituting a "discursive device" which represents difference as unity or identity. They are cross-cut by deep internal divisions and differences, and "unified" only through the exercise of different forms of cultural power. Yet . . . national identities continue to be represented as "unified". . . . "Modern nations are all cultural hybrids." (Stuart Hall 297) [SoundBite #438]

439) Oliver Daddow takes this argument even further, pointing out that not only is the act of writing history a process of constructing a narrative about the past, but very often the documents from which the historians obtain their “facts” are themselves the result of efforts by contemporaneous chroniclers of historical events to provide a coherent narrative account of those events. For now it is enough to note that even the sources of “original” information upon which histories are based are already somewhat removed from the actual events to which they relate. (Mike Chopra-Gant 58) [SoundBite #1251]

440) We are living American history in this moment, and one day we will be able to reflect on these happenings through film. Film gives us the opportunity to understand the history we did not live and, at times, make peace with the history we did. The emotions we feel as we watch what occurred on screen provide a connection and comprehension that one would otherwise not associate with the history. Historical films are a textbook come to life and the emotions of this moment, and those in the movies we have watched have vitality on screen that words alone may not offer. (Katy Watters, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2533]

441) The historian establishes verisimilitude rather than objective truth. (Louis Gottschalk, qtd. in Burns 17) [SoundBite #441]

442) There is no other country in the world where there is such a large gap between the sophisticated understanding of some professional historians and the basic education given by teachers. (Marc Ferro 225) [SoundBite #442]

443) All history is "contemporary history," declared Croce, meaning that history consists essentially in seeing the past through the eyes of the present and in light of its problems, and that the main work of the historian is not to record, but to evaluate; for if he does not evaluate, how can he know what is worth recording? (Edward Hallett Carr 15) [SoundBite #443]

444) Facts are essential components of the basic skills that a child entering a culture must have. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 28) [SoundBite #444]

445) Let our children try to imagine the arrival of Columbus from the viewpoint of those who met him as well as those who sent him. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 15) [SoundBite #445]

446) Nations [become] idealized communities, which at one and the same time ["recover"] the history they [need] to bind diverse elements into a single whole, and yet [conceal] the actual inequalities, exploitations, and patterns of domination and exclusion inevitably involved. The power of national loyalty requires some transcendent appeal of this kind, invoking "the links between the dead and the yet unborn, the mystery of regeneration . . . a combined connectedness, fortuity, and fatality in a language of continuity." (Eley and Suny 24) [SoundBite #446]

447) It is this inescapable sense of human responsibility that fills the past with poignant "might-have-beens," and the future with portentous "ifs." (Herbert J. Muller 37) [SoundBite #447]

448) It is often said that history is written by the victors. It might also be said that history is forgotten by the victors. They can afford to forget, while losers are unable to accept what happened and are condemned to brood over it, relive it, and reflect how different it might have been. (Peter Burke 106) [SoundBite #448]

449) Each society has its regime of truth, its "general politics" of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true. (Michel Foucault 131) [SoundBite #449]

450) This research that has continued unabated since the 1960s has fundamentally altered the relationship between history and democratic nationalism. There has been an avalanche of information -- much of it unassimilable into an account written to celebrate the nation's accomplishments. This raises very forcefully the disturbing possibility that the study of history does not strengthen an attachment to one's country. Indeed . . . open-ended investigation of the nation's past could weaken the ties of citizenship by raising critical issues about the distribution of power and respect. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 158-59) [SoundBite #450]

451) The corruption of history by nationalism is instructive. Nationalism remains, after two centuries, the most vital political emotion in the world – far more vital than social ideologies such as communism or fascism or even democracy. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 47) [SoundBite #451]

452) The contemporary historical film is, in this sense, a privileged discursive site in which anxiety, ambivalence, and expectation about the nation, its history, and its future are played out in narrative form. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 11) [SoundBite #452]

453) When I consider history, I try to imagine a human condition, peering out at the world through human eyes, with a life that has gone by, hanging in time like an ant in amber. (Peter Weisman, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #453]

454) Those who command more obvious forms of power (political control and wealth) try also to commandeer knowledge. (Howard Zinn 7) [SoundBite #454]

455) The shift in emphasis between a film that is “about” historical events and one that merely uses these to establish the mise-en-scene within which an explicitly fictional narrative takes place may be a very subtle one for moviegoers. It is, however, a crucial one when considering whether the film can be regarded as a reliable depiction of the historical. (Mike Chopra-Gant 79) [SoundBite #1252]

456) Although there are many similarities between the roles of tradition and memory in the United States and in other societies, ultimately the differences seem more interesting and revealing. The differences have less to do with what is remembered, or how traditions are transmitted, and more to do with the politics of culture, with the American quest for consensus and stability, and with the broad acceptance of the notion that government’s role as a custodian of memory ought to be comparatively modest. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 14) [SoundBite #456]

457) If film is to write history, we must demand of it more than a lie that is like truth, and more than a fiction that provides a "way of looking at history." If we do not, we shall get what we have always got. We shall continue to get films that are sometimes compelling, sometimes beautiful, sometimes deeply moving, but historically unsound and, with few exceptions, intellectually empty. What we must demand are films that both "get the data exactly right" and give us ways to look at our history -- and force us, through their style, to think about them. (Kenneth M. Cameron 239) [SoundBite #457]

458) We are ruled by precedents fully as much as by laws, which is to say that we are ruled by the collective memory of the past. (Joseph R. Strayer, qtd. in Hamerow 231) [SoundBite #458]

459) But as Homi Bhabha reminds us, a nation's existence is also dependent on "a strange forgetting of the history of the nation's past: the violence involved in establishing the nation's writ. It is this forgetting -- a minus in the origin -- that constitutes the beginning of the nation's narrative." (Cecilia Elizabeth O' Leary 5) [SoundBite #459]

460) The literary historian employs his talents to conjure up what was once real and is now no more, and to excite the imagination of the beholder to see the past through his eyes. . . . All this is a far cry from the more prosaic and realistic purposes of the scientific historian. (Henry Steele Commager 8) [SoundBite #76]

461) History cannot provide confirmation that something better is inevitable; but it can uncover evidence that it is conceivable. (Howard Zinn 47) [SoundBite #461]

462) The truth shall make us free / The truth shall make us free / The truth shall make us free some day / Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe / The truth shall make us free some day. (We Shall Overcome) [SoundBite #462]

463) Historians must always strive toward the unattainable ideal of objectivity. But as we respond to contemporary urgencies, we sometimes exploit the past for nonhistorical purposes, taking from the past, or projecting upon it, what suits our own society or ideology. History thus manipulated becomes an instrument less of disinterested intellectual inquiry than of social cohesion and political purpose. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 47) [SoundBite #463]

464) What historical film can do: 1. Comment on a tradition of representing the past . . . 2. Create a spectacle that will carry a particular feeling of how the past means . . . 3. Collapse an oral history tradition into a coherent story which carries out themes spanning large periods of time . . . 4. Ruminate on the possible meanings of historical events or eras . . . 5. Rethink and re-present the dimensions and ambiguities of a tradition, showing its continuities and ruptures through revolution and emigration . . . 6. Question the nature of the historical quest itself . . . 7. Analyze and question the images of the historical realities we think we know most clearly. (Robert A. Rosenstone 238-39) [SoundBite #464]

465) In the twentieth century United States, the narrative forms that have molded national identity most profoundly are arguably the western and the war film, genres that articulate an image of a nation that . . . has been "beaten into national shape by the hammer of incessant wars." (Robert Burgoyne, Film 8) [SoundBite #465]

466) Naturally, men scared to make pictures about the American Negro, men who only in the last year allowed the word Jew to be spoken in a picture, who took more than ten years to make an anti-fascist picture, these are frightened men and you pick frightened men to frighten first. (Lillian Hellman, qtd. in Mintz and Roberts 21) [SoundBite #466]

467) History should be studied because it is an absolutely necessary enlargement of human experience, a way of getting out of the boundaries of one's own life and culture and seeing more of what human experience has been. (Bernard Bailyn 12) [SoundBite #467]

468) Comfortable minds breed bad history. (Daniel J. Walkowitz 52) [SoundBite #468]

469) He is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. (Frederick Douglass, qtd. in Moore front cover) [SoundBite #469]

470) In 1910 the American historian, Carl Becker, argued in deliberately provocative language that "the facts of history do not exist for any historian till he creates them." (Edward Hallett Carr 15) [SoundBite #470]

471) There can be no "pure history" -- history-in-itself, recorded from nobody's point of view, for nobody's sake. The most objective history conceivable is still a selection and an interpretation, necessarily governed by some special interests and based on some particular beliefs. . . . The important meanings of history are not simply there, lined up, waiting to be discovered. (Herbert J. Muller 32-33) [SoundBite #471]

472) For who among us can hope that his son shall ever be called, like Washington, to direct the storm of war, or to ravish the ears of deeply listening Senates?…Oh no! give us his private virtues! In these every youth is interested, because every youth may become a Washington. (Mason Weems, qtd. in Hirsch 88-89) [SoundBite #472]

473) If you want to see the movies that are history lessons then stay at home and watch Discovery or TLC. Some would say the movie theater is a place to live another life without coming out broke (although movies are pretty expensive and can put a hurtin' on your wallet), injured, or in trouble with the law. (Matthew Yencha, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #473]

474) Froude's remark that history is "a child's box of letters with which we can spell any word we please" [amounts to total skepticism]. (Edward Hallett Carr 21) [SoundBite #474]

475) The fading away of the cold war has brought an era of ideological conflict to an end. But it has not, as forecast, brought an end to history. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 9) [SoundBite #475]

476) Today, [history] texts are written backward or inside out, as it were, beginning with public demand and ending with the historian. (Frances FitzGerald, America 69) [SoundBite #476]

477) In its range and coverage of the field of national imaginings, the Hollywood cinema is in many ways an unparalleled expression of national culture, one that has molded the self-image of the nation in pervasive and explicit ways. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 6) [SoundBite #477]

478) The condition of man requires that the individual, while he exists and acts as an autonomous being, does so only because he can first identify himself as something greater -- as a member of a society, group, class, state or nation, of some arrangement to which he may not attach a name, but which he recognizes instinctively as home. (Roger Scruton 156) [SoundBite #478]

479) When new preoccupations arise in our own times and lives, the spotlight shifts, throwing into sharp relief things that were always there but that earlier historians had casually excised from the collective memory. In this sense, the present may be said to re-create the past. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 46) [SoundBite #479]

480) Unofficial forms of collective rememoration, including film and television programs based on historical subjects, have thus become increasingly important in the 1980s and 1990s in terms of their visibility and in terms of their influence on emerging and traditional concepts of collective memory. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 4) [SoundBite #480]

481) The American literary critic Stanley Fish coined the phrase "interpretative communities" in order to analyze conflicts over the interpretation of texts. In a similar way, it might be useful to think in terms of different "memory communities" within a given society. (Peter Burke 107) [SoundBite #481]

482) Memory, we well know, can be selective and capricious. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 309) [SoundBite #482]

483) The best historical films will: 1. Show not just what happened but how what happened means to us. 2. Interrogate the past for the sake of the present. Remember that historians are working for the living not for the dead. 3. Create a historical world complex enough so that it overflows with meaning, so that its meanings cannot be contained or easily expressed in words. (Robert A. Rosenstone 238) [SoundBite #483]

484) Historians and prophets share a common commitment to finding the meaning of endings. (William Cronon 1375) [SoundBite #484]

485) The central importance of history to a good education is beyond dispute. History teaches a reverence for fact and understanding. It calls attention to the great achievements and disasters in human experience. And it establishes the full context of modern life by connecting, in time and place, the development of art, law, language, politics, commerce, and society. All Americans should know about their civilization: the chronology of its development, the ideas and traditions upon which it rests, the political system it enjoys, and the challenges it faces at home and abroad. (William J. Bennett, Madison 20) [SoundBite #485]

486) History is not inevitably useful. It can bind us or free us. It can destroy compassion by showing us the world through the eyes of the comfortable (“the slaves are happy, just listen to them”—leading to “ the poor are content, just look at them”). (Howard Zinn 54) [SoundBite #486]

487) History is a lie agreed upon. (Napoleon) [SoundBite #487]

488) As part of the politics of "representing reality" . . . historical films should offer meditations on reality. (Abrash and Walkowitz 213) [SoundBite #488]

489) Preschool is not too early for starting earnest instruction in literate national culture. Fifth grade is almost too late. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. 26-27) [SoundBite #489]

490) I think using responsibility in the same sentence as the movie industry–it just doesn’t fit. (John Sayles, qtd. in Carnes 21) [SoundBite #490]

491) History . . . hath made us acquainted with our dead Ancestors; and, out of the depth and darknesse of the earth, delivered us their memory and fame." (Sir Walter Raleigh, qtd. in Hamerow 213) [SoundBite #491]

492) The challenge of film to history, of the visual culture to the written culture, may be like the challenge of written history to the oral tradition, of Herodotus and Thucydides to the tellers of historical tales. Before Herodotus there was myth, which was a perfectly adequate way of dealing with the past of a tribe, city, or people. (Robert Rosenstone 43) [SoundBite #164]

493) But popular feature films and arcane academic histories do not rank equally in the production of our consciousness of the past. The evocative power of the lavish, expensively produced visual imagery available to the historical filmmaker inevitably outweighs the less immediately impressive medium employed by the historical scholar. (Mike Chopra-Gant 86) [SoundBite #1253]

494) In describing the concept of the dominant fiction, Ranciere emphasizes the importance of narrative and pictorial forms, particularly films, in fostering the sense of national identity, arguing that they create an "image of society immediately readable by all classes." (Robert Burgoyne, Film 2) [SoundBite #494]

495) Even if history is sanitized in order to make people feel good, there is no evidence that feel-good history promotes ethnic self-esteem and equips students to grapple with their lives. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 93) [SoundBite #495]

496) If Hollywood threw reality at us, people would go catatonic. We need a foil to the daily news, that throttles us with pain and despair, so Hollywood gets their crack team of experts together, and they let the guy get the girl, and they allow the meteor to be detonated, and everything is happy, and we can rest. (James Clewley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #496]

497) Tout comprendre, tout pardonner. But it does not follow that the historian who understands all forgives all. It is the historian's business to "understand"; it is not the historian's business either to condemn or forgive. He is not God. (Henry Steele Commager 68) [SoundBite #184]

498) If we could keep the two persons separate -- Ingrid Bergman as Joan of Arc vs. the enigmatic and probably schizophrenic Maid of Orleans -- then cinematic distinction would not be problematic. When a movie image, with all the conventions that falsify history, becomes our primary representation of a person–as has happened again and again and again–then we face a troubling situation. (Stephen Jay Gould, qtd. in Carnes 31) [SoundBite #498]

499) The past, I tell you, is a bucket of ashes. (Carl Sandburg, "Cornhuskers") [SoundBite #499]

500) This class made me realize that a historical event can be fleshed out on film in innumerable ways, and the way filmmakers portray historical events reveals their motives, be they social agendas or personal style, in telling the story the way that they do. (Tanya Saleh, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2534]

501) As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 45) [SoundBite #501]

502) In my view history as a discipline is in bad shape today because it has lost sight of its origins in the literary imagination. In the interest of appearing scientific and objective, it has repressed and denied to itself its own greatest source of strength and renewal. (Hayden White, Tropic 99) [SoundBite #502]

503) We [historians] can recapture those few moments in the past which show the possibility of a better way of life than that which has dominated the Earth thus far. (Howard Zinn 47) [SoundBite #160]

504) What all this points to is the necessity of revising the distinction conventionally drawn between poetic and prose discourse in discussion of such narrative forms as historiography and recognizing that the distinction, as old as Aristotle, between history and poetry obscures as much as it illuminates about both. If there is an element of the historical in all poetry, there is an element of poetry in every historical account of the world. (Hayden White, Tropic 97-98) [SoundBite #504]

505) [There are] four principal methods of cinematic history: mixing fact with fiction, shaping evidence to deliver specific conclusions, suggesting messages for the present in stories about the past, and employing a documentary style to develop the "Great Man" perspective on the past. (Robert Brent Toplin, History 13) [SoundBite #505]

506) To be culturally literate is to possess the basic information needed to thrive in the modern world. (E. D. Hirsch, Jr. xiii) [SoundBite #506]

507) To understand the workings of the social memory it may be worth investigating the social organization of forgetting, the rules of exclusion, suppression or repression, and the question of who wants whom to forget what, and why. [What about the uses of social amnesia?] Can groups, like individuals, suppress what is inconvenient to remember? (Peter Burke 108-9) [SoundBite #507]

508) [There is] a cinematic rewriting of history currently taking shape, which stands as a particularly conspicuous attempt to rearticulate the cultural narratives that define the American nation. By interrogating the reserve of images and stories that constitute the dominant fiction, these films set forth a counternarrative of American history that ultimately attempts to reinforce social belief. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 2) [SoundBite #508]

509) The mere ideal of greatness is a force. All peoples have clung to it, and responded to it; all have their national heroes. If the immediate achievements of the hero may be discounted, the hero as symbol, or even the mythical hero, continues to make history. (Herbert J. Muller 37) [SoundBite #509]

510) The right words, says Lenin, are more powerful than a hundred regiments of men. (Peter Weisman, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #510]

511) Unfortunately, when it comes to the deep seated disgust with America and its major institutions, the personal biases of the entertainment establishment show up with increasing regularity in the movies, television, and popular music. (Michael Medved 218) [SoundBite #511]

512) We can view the past, and achieve our understanding of the past, only through the eyes of the present. The historian is of his own age, and is bound to it by the conditions of human existence. (Edward Hallett Carr 19) [SoundBite #512]

513) A tradition lives only when each succeeding generation recreates it. (Waldo Frank, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 303) [SoundBite #513]

514) Our values are not matters of whim and happenstance. History has given them to us. They are anchored in our national experience, in our great national documents, in our national heroes, in our folk ways, traditions, and standards. People with a different history will have differing values. But we believe that our own are better for us. They work for us; and, for that reason, we live and die by them. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 82) [SoundBite #514]

515) It is not enough to dismiss a movie because the history was terrible. One must ask why? (Patrick O'Brien, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3661]

516) Professor Trevor-Roper tells us that the historian "ought to love the past." This is a dubious injunction. To love the past may easily be an expression of the nostalgic romanticism of old men and old societies, a symptom of loss of faith and interest in the present or future. Cliché for cliché, I should prefer the one about freeing oneself from the "dead hand of the past." The function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of the present. (Edward Hallett Carr 20) [SoundBite #516]

517) If history has been a maker of nations, her role as their continuing inspirer is almost equally important. (Allan Nevins 241) [SoundBite #517]

518) We [historians] are thus of that ancient and honorable company of wise men of the tribe, of bards and story-tellers and minstrels, of soothsayers and priests, to whom in successive ages has been entrusted the keeping of useful myths. (Carl Becker, qtd. in Hamerow 35) [SoundBite #518]

519) Historians deal, of course, in facts with an actual past, tied to a particular plane of reality and fixed immovably by the iron law of the documented date. But they deal not only in facts but in feel. . . . Albert Bushnell Hart remarked a half-century ago: "Facts as facts are no more history than recruits arrayed in battalions are an army." (Russel B. Nye, "Foreword") [SoundBite #519]

520) Students will start learning history when they see the point of doing so, when it seems interesting and important to them, and when they believe history might relate to their lives and futures. (James W. Loewen 305) [SoundBite #1325]

521) But, as this chapter aims to demonstrate, the invocation of sanctified notions of "accuracy" or "truthfulness," as if these are unproblematic qualities possessed by "serious" academic works of history but lacking in all other forms of historical representation, is at best an anachronistic approach and at worst a positively misleading simplification of some rather complicated issues relating to the epistemological status of the traditional type of written academic history. History, as most non-historians (at least those educated within a western, Anglophone context) will understand it -- the history based on important dates, events, persons, and an underlying sense of economic, political, technological and social progress through decades and centuries past and on into the present -- is itself the product of a particular confluence of historical forces. (Mike Chopra-Gant 53) [SoundBite #1254]

522) It is only a hypothesis, but it seems possible that the conviction of the historian that he has "found" the form of his narrative in the events themselves, rather than imposed it upon them, in the way the poet does, is a result of a certain lack of linguistic self-consciousness which obscures the extent to which descriptions of events already constitute interpretations of their nature. (Hayden White, Tropic 94) [SoundBite #522]

523) With questions of national, racial, and cultural identity emerging as a central topic of debate in the United States, the American past has become a contested domain in which narratives of people excluded from traditional accounts have begun to be articulated in a complex dialogue with the dominant tradition. (Robert Burgoyne, Film 1) [SoundBite #523]

524) [Postmodernism questions] 1. the idea that there is a real, knowable past, a record of evolutionary progress of human ideas, institutions, or actions, 2. the view that historians should be objective, 3. that reason enables historians to explain the past, and 4. that the role of history is to interpret and transmit human cultural and intellectual tradition from generation to generation. (Robert A. Rosenstone 200) [SoundBite #524]

525) Events are made into a story by the suppression or subordination of certain of them and the highlighting of others, by characterization, motific repetition, variation of tone and point of view, alternative descriptive strategies, and the like -- in short, all of the techniques that we would normally expect to find in the emplotment of a novel or play. (Hayden White, Tropics 8) [SoundBite #525]

526) Through tradition we get our standards. By keeping our tradition alive we preserve our standards. By making our tradition vital, bringing it to bear upon current work, we may hope to produce something equivalent to the "thoroughbred" in literature. (Stuart Pratt Sherman, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 302) [SoundBite #526]

527) It may, therefore, be worthwhile to examine the arguments for "disinterested, neutral, scientific, objective" scholarship. If there is to be a revolution in the uses of knowledge to correspond to the revolution in society, it will have to begin by challenging the rules which sustain the wasting of knowledge. Let me cite a number of them, and argue briefly for new approaches. . . . Rule 4. To be "scientific" requires neutrality. . . . Scientists do have values . . . they aim to save human life, to extend human control over the environment for the happiness of men and women. (Howard Zinn 8-9, 12) [SoundBite #119]

528) Scholars may dream of a historian's heaven. (Marshall Sahlins) [SoundBite #528]

529) We need history, but not in the same way a loafer in the garden of knowledge needs it. (Friedrich Nietzche) [SoundBite #529]

530) But is it such a bad thing for kids to "never be obliged to read history again" (filmmaker D. W. Griffith)? They apparently learn nothing from it because it is so dry, so, assuming there are some accurate movies out there, why the hell shouldn't they learn from them instead? (Amy Burchard, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #530]

531) The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. (Oscar Wilde) [SoundBite #531]

532) Time heals all wounds, / Smoothes, cleanses, obliterates; / History keeps the wound open, / Picks at it, makes it raw and bleeding. (Janet Malcolm) [SoundBite #532]

533) Even if a movie bends the truth a little bit, if it is still about an important issue, then it is still valuable. For an example, Mississippi Burning is a film about the brutal slayings of three civil rights workers (2 white, 1 black) by Klansmen in the deep South. Obviously, the issues involved in this film are touchy ones, and people will feel very strongly one way or another. Yet when the family members of the murdered black civil rights worker complained that the film made the WHITE civil rights workers look better than him, I feel like they are missing the point. They shouldn't be concerned about silly little details like that . . . they should be happy that his story is being told in the first place! (Lindsay Totams, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #533]

534) It is worth asking why the national novels of Latin America -- the ones that governments institutionalized in the schools and that are by now indistinguishable from patriotic histories -- are all love stories. (Doris Sommer) [SoundBite #534]

535) History is full of people who out of fear, or ignorance, or lust for power have destroyed knowledge of immeasurable value which truly belongs to us all. We must not let it happen again. (Carl Sagan) [SoundBite #535]

536) One imagines filmmakers as scofflaws recklessly speeding down the road, while the upholders of scholarly rules and ideals wait vigilantly in their patrol cars, hands ready on the siren and flashing lights. (Robert Sklar) (hear audio gloss by Amy Burchard) [SoundBite #536]

537) Maybe this isn't the way it was . . . It's the way it should have been. (the film The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean) [SoundBite #537]

538) You are what you have been. (old saying) [SoundBite #538]

539) History is the skeleton out of the closet. Film is the opium for the people. (Paul Galante, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #539]

540) History, n. An account mostly false of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools. (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary) [SoundBite #540]

541) History is what one makes of it. History is merely a related story, a child's game of "telephone." (Jillian Brady, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #541]

542) The past is always being learned. (Jillian Brady, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #547]

543) The playwright's chief stock in trade is feelings, not facts. When he writes of a subject out of history, or out of today's news, he cannot be a scholarly recorder or a good reporter; he is, at best, an interpreter, with a certain facility for translating all that he has heard in a manner sufficiently dramatic to attract a crowd. He has been granted, by a tradition that goes back to the King of Thebes, considerable poetic license to distort and embellish the truth; and he generally takes advantage of far more license than he has been granted. The Cleopatra who actually existed may have borne no resemblance to the Cleopatra of Shakespeare's creation nor to the entirely different one of Shaw's, but no one now cares about that, even in Egypt. (Robert E. Sherwood) [SoundBite #543]

544) I say it is a moral duty for even filmmakers to be accurate because, otherwise, they contribute to the stupification of America -- because I'm pretty certain that the majority of the public will not try to expand their knowledge -- or check facts -- after seeing a film. (Amy Burchard, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #544]

545) It may be that sometime we will have a Lincoln drama employing entirely speeches and situations authenticated by documents and evidence, but whether it will be a drama that people will go and see and value as drama is another question. (Carl Sandburg) [SoundBite #545]

546) There's only one thing worse than tradition and that's believing in it. (Philip Moeller) [SoundBite #546]

547) The historical film, like the mythic figure of Janus, looks both to the past and the present. . . . Like a hologram, it appears to contain two perspectives, two vantage points on the past in a single form. (Robert Burgoyne 11) [SoundBite #1377]

548) The facts of history are bad enough; the fictions are, if possible, worse. (Henry James) [SoundBite #548]

549) It has been said that the history of any nation begins with myth. When the age of reflection arrives and the nation begins to speculate on its origin, it has no more recollection on what happened in its infancy than a man has of what happened to him in his cradle. (Alexander Brown) [SoundBite #549]

550) First, and if not most important, then, most elementary, history is a story. That was its original character, and that has continued to be its most distinctive character. If history forgets or neglects to tell a story, it will inevitably forfeit much of its appeal and much of its authority as well. With the Iliad and the Odyssey story-telling and history are so inextricably co-mingled that we do not know to this day whether to classify them as literature or as history; they are of course both. (Henry Steele Commager 3) [SoundBite #34]

551) Therefore, the essence of a nation is that all individuals have many things in common and also that all have forgotten many things. (Ernest Renan) [SoundBite #551]

552) Facts in a nude state are not liable criminally, any more than bright and beautiful children commit a felony by being born thus; but it is the solemn duty of those having these children in charge to put appropriate, healthful, and even attractive apparel upon them at the earliest possible moment. It is thus with facts. They are the framework of history, not the drapery. They are like the cold, hard, dishevelled, damp, and uncomfortable body under the knife of the demonstrator, not the bright and bounding boy, clothed in graceful garments and filled to every tingling capillary with a soul. We, each of us, the artist and the author, respect facts. We have never, either of us, said an unkind word regarding facts. But we believe that they should not be placed before the public exactly as they were born. We want to see them embellished and beautified. (Bill Nye and Frederick Opper) [SoundBite #552]

553) You wouldn't perform surgery on someone if you hadn't been to medical school yet, you wouldn't go into battle without the proper gear, you wouldn't even leave the house in the winter without a hat and gloves, but people expect to live in a peaceful society without understanding the trials and tribulations of the past. (Catherine Breckenridge, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #553]

554) The stories we tell determine the lives we lead. (old saying) [SoundBite #1214]

555) Study the past if you would divine the future. (Confucius) [SoundBite #1216]

556) The effect of these competing forces on the films certainly means that they cannot be regarded as substitutes for rigorous, scholarly written histories, and they will always compare unfavourably with these academic works when judged by the standards usually applied to the academic history. (Mike Chopra-Gant 93) [SoundBite #1215]

557) Clearly our textbooks are not about teaching history. Their enterprise is Building Character. They therefore treat Columbus as an origin myth: He was good and so are we. (James W. Loewen 60) [SoundBite #1337]

558) Is it impossible to think history, regardless of the way it is presented, is actually just entertainment? (Amy Isabelle, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1218]

559) I mean, don't we learn just as much from our fiction as we do from our fact? (John Culhane, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #550]

560) Watching the films of America's past prompts us to question what we already know. Being placed on history's lap while watching a wide-screen movie creates an opportunity to rightfully analyze American history. (Thomas Bianchi, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2536]

561) What is at issue in American history, however, is not our ability to know the past but our ability to find the predecessors we need -- to think with their thoughts, to work through our own beliefs by working through their beliefs. Only thus does history become a mode of moral reflection. (David Harlan 157) [SoundBite #376]

562) More significant, however, are the "revisions" of history that can often arise without substantial new evidence, but in response to changing social values and attitudes that require that the existing evidence be reinterpreted in a way more consistent with those new values. (Mike Chopra-Gant 63) [SoundBite #1255]

563) If I were a Muslim who studied the Koran my whole life, I would probably believe that Americans are immoral, evil capitalists. But that IS EXACTLY what we are to them, and they believe they are doing God’s duty by killing Americans. This notion really really scares and perplexes me. The first issue is the thought of countries being "imaginary constructs" in the first place -- they shouldn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but they inextricably do mean a lot to us. We know through countless psychological studies that it is important for humans to belong to groups and form identities. But our "imaginary constructs" known as countries create these "fairy tales" known as text books and movies often to bond the people, exclude others and place people in opposition to each other. (Stephanie McElroy, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #527]

564) In eight years of undergraduate and graduate study at Columbia University during the 1960s, I never once was taught by a woman or non-white historian. Such an experience would be virtually impossible today. (Eric Foner x) [SoundBite #1360]

565) What people believe to be true is often more important than what is true. (David McCullough) [SoundBite #1225]

566) Cinema . . . is a contest of phantoms. (Jacques Derrida, qtd. in Ryan and Kellner, frontispiece) [SoundBite #521]

567) The majority of the people in the world think that war is a viable way to solve problems in 2009, almost 7,000 years after civilization began in the fertile crescent! (Patrick Hammond, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1227]

568) The accuracy and adequacy of representations of past actualities, the verisimilitude or closeness to fact of what is written about them, remain the measure, in the end, of good history -- this despite all the fashionable doubts that are raised about the attainment of absolute or perfect objectivity and accuracy (which no one pretends to, anyway). (Bernard Bailyn 8) [SoundBite #520]

569) [The kind of history postmoderns admire:] History that problematizes the entire notion of historical knowledge. That foregrounds the usually concealed attitudes of historians toward their material. That reeks with provisionality and undecidability, partisanship, and even overt politics. That engages pulse and intellect simultaneously. That breaks down the convention of temporality -- rhythmic time. That does not aim at integration, synthesis, and totality. That is content with historical scraps. That is not the reconstruction of what has happened to us in the various phases of our lives, but a continuous playing with the memory of this. That is expressed not in coherent stories but in fragments and collage. (Robert A. Rosenstone 201) [SoundBite #503]

570) When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. (John Ford, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) [SoundBite #1230]

571) The Past is the key to the present and the mirror of the future. (Robert Fitzgerald) [SoundBite #1231]

572) Out of this sense of the situation comes the question which underlies this book: in a world where children are still not safe from starvation or bombs, should not the historian thrust himself and his writing into history, on behalf of goals in which he deeply believes? Are we historians not humans first, and scholars because of that? (Howard Zinn 1) [SoundBite #497]

573) In its surprisingly unsympathetic attitude to the military, the entertainment establishment is driven more by its own inner demons than by any desire to please the public. (Michael Medved 220) [SoundBite #493]

574) The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger's slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use -- these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation. (Edward Hallett Carr 18) [SoundBite #492]

575) History can untie our minds, our bodies, our disposition to move -- to engage life rather than contemplating it as an outsider. It can do this by widening our views to include the silent voices of the past, so that we look behind the silence of the present. (Howard Zinn 54) [SoundBite #235]

576) Long before the horrors of the Rodney King incident and its tragic aftermath, Hollywood had begun to reassess its previously supportive attitude toward the police. (Michael Medved 222) [SoundBite #460]

577) It has always been a challenge for me to find any interest in actually studying history. Textbooks are often dull, the names of people blend, dates and places are jumbled together. The traditional methods used to teach history are too impersonal. I can't form a connection with any of the people or even begin to imagine how they felt, thought, acted, or even saw the world around them. Screenwriters, on the other hand, are able to provide me with something that I can start to understand. Characters remind me of actual people, a landscape is set, I can hear dialogue/phrases/slang that is inherent to a certain time period, etc. The "reel" is giving me something "real" to learn. Historical film presents a story that sparks my interest. Some may claim this image is distorted and skewed; however, I argue that textbooks and verbal information are subject to the same biases. In my opinion, film can be considered an interactive textbook. (Amy Isabelle, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1222]

578) Recall Rousseau’s accusation : “We have physicists, geometricians, chemists, astronomers, poets, musicians, and painters in plenty, but we have no longer a citizen among us.” Since the eighteenth century, that list of specialists has grown, to include sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, historians. The scholars multiply diligently, but with little passion. The passion I speak of is the urgent desire for a better world. I will contend that it should overcome those professional rules which call, impossibly and callously, for neutrality. (Howard Zinn 1-2) [SoundBite #78]

579) Another way to cause history to stick is to present it so that it touches students' lives. (James W. Loewen 295) [SoundBite #1321]

580) Textbook authors seem to believe that Americans can be loyal to their government only as long as they believe it has never done anything bad. (James W. Loewen 229) [SoundBite #1329]

581) I could not get all my friends to agree on what exactly happened at dinner last night. How would we think we could ever agree about monumental and complicated events that happened 100s of years ago? (Sarah Morgan, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1221]

582) It may be possible to escape history (by knowing none) but there is no escape from the past. (P. J. Rogers 17) [SoundBite #455]

583) No real emotion seeps into these books, not even real pride. Instead, heroic exceptions to the contrary, most American history courses and textbooks operate in a gray emotional landscape of pious duty in which the United States has a good history, so studying it is good for students. (James W. Loewen 295) [SoundBite #1320]

584) In addition to creating a powerful impression of "witnessing again," the reenactment involves a form of double consciousness, a rethinking of the past. Reenacting the past necessarily calls forth the imagination of the part of the filmmaker and the film spectator. (Robert Burgoyne 8) [SoundBite #1375]

585) In tennis people say that it pays to have a short memory. When a point is over, there is no turning back -- you simply have to move on and play out the next one. However, I would alway argue that you need to draw from match history in order to improve. While after a tough loss most people would be happy not to think about it again, it is essential to reflect and recover what you can about what went wrong. (Samantha DiStefano, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1228]

586) Hollywood’s dim view of our religious, military, business and law-enforcement institutions coincides with its overall vision of America as a society that is cruel, corrupt, and hopelessly unjust. (Michael Medved 223) [SoundBite #430]

587) Thus, rooted at least as much in the present in which it is written as the past that it takes as its referent, history – be it "scientific," mythical or the explicit historical fiction – always bears the impression of the prevailing attitudes and values of the culture at the time of its writing. (Mike Chopra-Gant 58) [SoundBite #1250]

588) What passes for identity in America is a series of myths about one's heroic ancestors. (James Baldwin 9) [SoundBite #411]

589) Film, better than any other medium, can provide a vivid experience and a powerful emotional relationship with a world that is wholly unfamiliar. To employ another vocabulary, historical film can defamiliarize our image of the past. (Robert Burgoyne 11) [SoundBite #1374]

590) I have found that by both hearing and viewing a representation of American history, as opposed to simply reading a history book, my thoughts and emotions are invested at a deeper level. I feel more connected to our past, which allows me to feel more prepared and willing to positively change our future. I think we must take each film, similar to each experience in life, with a grain of salt as it is, after all, one person’s interpretation. However, because we will never know the absolute truth of anything that happened in history, we must recognize and appreciate the film-maker’s retelling. I think the biggest lesson I have learned after this course is to be proactive in commemorating the great events that compose our past, as well as be a part of new events that will hopefully one day be memorialized in films as great as these. (Taara Ness-Cochinwala, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2529]

591) History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. (Stephen Daedalus in James Joyce's Portait of the Artist as a Young Man) [SoundBite #378]

592) Before condemning the historical feature film as an almost unadulterated fantasy that compares unfavorably with other modes of ostensibly factual narrative, however, it is worth considering the degree to which the same tendencies and representational modes encountered in the historical feature film are pervasive throughout mass-mediated culture in which we now live. (Mike Chopra-Gant 87) [SoundBite #1249]

593) While Hollywood may not have a legal responsibility to tell the full truth, I would argue that they definitely do have a moral obligation to do so. By constantly misrepresenting the facts to the American people, Hollywood fails to better its audience in any noticeable way and instead perpetuates the ignorance of a nation -- a true shame. (Brian Carroll, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1838]

594) The South African poet Breyten Breytenbach wrote, "You do take your language with you wherever you go -- but it is rather like carrying the bones of your ancestors with you in a bag: they are white with silence, they do not talk back." It is the historian's job to make those bleached bones talk back. It is her distinctive and defining responsibility to make ancient texts speak to the present -- speak to us, to our problems, in our language. She must transform the dead into conversational partners. (David Harlan 52) [SoundBite #322]

595) One should look skeptically upon the mass media's engagement with history, not only because of the vast possibilities for historical revision, but equally because of the mass media's standard mode of address: a dissemination of predigested messages that require no active engagement or thought on the part of the individual consumer. (Alison Landsberg 67) [SoundBite #320]

596) [Historical films] come to grips with the past, making use of the available scholarship and setting out a cinematic interpretation of history that concerns issues that still trouble us in the present. (Robert Burgoyne 6) [SoundBite #1371]

597) The radical historian will . . . emphasize those facts we are most likely to ignore -- and these are the facts as seen by the victims. (Howard Zinn 41) [SoundBite #313]

598) A film is not a book. An image is not a word. This is easy to see (and say) but difficult to understand. At the very least it means that film cannot possibly do what a book does, even if it wanted to do so. And, conversely, a book cannot do what film does. . . . The larger point: the rules to evaluate historical film cannot come from the medium itself -- from its common practices, and how they intersect with notions of the past. The rules of visual history have yet to be charted. (Robert Rosenstone 14-15) [SoundBite #26]

599) [Barthes'] description of the plenary amplitude, the somatic intensity of the cinematic experience, especially the sense of rewitnessing the historical past, is a vivid reminder of the primacy of reenactment in the historical film. (Robert Burgoyne 8) [SoundBite #1376]

600) Suppose that all knowledge of the gradual steps of civilization, of the slow process of perfecting the arts of life and the natural sciences were blotted out . . . suppose a race of men whose minds, by a paralytic stroke of fate, had suddenly been deadened to every recollection, to whom the whole world was new. Can we imagine a condition of such utter helplessness, confusion, and misery? (Frederic Harrison, qtd. in Commager 2-3) [SoundBite #14]

601) By taking the government's side, textbooks encourage students to conclude that criticism is incompatible with citizenship. (James W. Loewen 231) [SoundBite #1330]

602) The ability to separate what you know about history and celluloid representation is a distinction most human beings don't make. It just so easy to view a story in which the representation consumes the entire being. Even if we don't consciously acknowledge what Barthes calls "the balcony of History," we all think about a director's choice and the medium used to portray it. (Teresa Salvatore) [SoundBite #1224]

603) The past is no highway to the present; it is a collection of issues and events that do not fit together and that lead in no single direction. The word “progress” has been replaced by the word “change.” (Frances FitzGerald, America 11) [SoundBite #90]

604) Why do we believe history if we don't know how truthful it is? Based on trust? Faith? (Parimal Patel, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1223]

605) I will consider the historical work as what it most manifestly is -- that is to say, a verbal structure in the form of a narrative prose discourse that purports to be a model, or icon, of past structures and processes in the interest of explaining what they were by representing them. (Hayden White, Metahistory 2) [SoundBite #301]

606) In 1925 the American Legion declaimed that the ideal textbook: must inspire the children with patriotism...must be careful to tell the truth optimistically...must dwell on failure only for its value as a moral lesson, must speak chiefly of success...must give each State and Section full space and value for the achievements of each. (James W. Loewen 265-66) [SoundBite #1289]

607) A historical awareness brings about a veritable catharsis, a liberation of our sociological subconscious somewhat analogous to that which psychoanalysis seeks to establish on the psychological level. . . . In each case man frees himself from a past which up until that moment had weighed upon him obscurely. He does this not by forgetfulness but by the effort of finding it again, by assimilating it in a fully conscious way so as to integrate it. (Henri-Irenee Marrou 146) [SoundBite #288]

608) Know this: When you hear people bashing Christopher Columbus, as they did incessantly during the five-hundredth anniversary celebrations in 1992, Columbus himself is merely a symbol, a vehicle, a retrospective scapegoat; their real target is America and Western civilization. (Rush Limbaugh 68) [SoundBite #89]

609) Let's be blunt and admit it: historical films trouble and disturb professional historians. . . . Why do historians distrust the historical film? The overt answers: Films are inaccurate. They distort the past. They fictionalize, trivialize, and romanticize people, events, and movements. They falsify history. The covert answers: Film is out of the control of the historians. Film shows that we [historians] do not own the past. Film creates a historical world with which books cannot compete, at least for popularity. Film is a disturbing symbol of an increasingly postliterate world (in which people can read but won't). (Robert A. Rosenstone 46) [SoundBite #261]

610) According to the postmodern critique, scholarly written histories must themselves be viewed as representations of the past – the fragmentary and essentially ambiguous raw material of historical data transformed into a coherent story that brings the past to life – rather than as a neutral mirror that reflects the past without altering or distorting it in any way. Thus the practice of writing history is inevitably enmeshed in its own system of representation. (Mike Chopra-Gant 55) [SoundBite #1256]

611) It may be propaganda, but it all serves a purpose. It's there so we can have something to identitfy with. Some of America's greatest heroes, as we have found out, have been largely fabricated. This doesn't upset me that much. I believe what I want to believe, either way. Sure, we've been lied to by people, but that is the way our political and governmental system operates nowadays. This is the sad fact. You can't turn bitter because of the lies they try to tell us. Make up some lies of your own. The Machine doesn't stop because you're pissed off; we all need to gain a greater understanding of how this system works so we can see through the rhetoric to what is actually important to us, whatever that may be. (James Clewley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #256]

612) It may, therefore, be worthwhile to examine the arguments for "disinterested, neutral, scientific, objective" scholarship. If there is to be a revolution in the uses of knowledge to correspond to the revolution in society, it will have to begin by challenging the rules which sustain the wasting of knowledge. Let me cite a number of them, and argue briefly for new approaches. Rule 1. Carry on "disinterested scholarship.". . . The university and its scholars . . . should unashamedly declare that their interest is in eliminating war, poverty, race and national hatred, governmental restrictions on individual freedom, and in fostering a spirit of cooperation and concern in the generation growing up. (Howard Zinn 8-9, 9-10) [SoundBite #39]

613) What a [history] textbook reflects is thus a compromise, an America sculpted and sanded down by the pressures of diverse constituents and interest groups. (Frances FitzGerald, America 46-47) [SoundBite #289]

614) Dramatic license for film is one thing. But don't dramatize a text book. It's down right criminal. We live in a world that depends on large fat hard cover books with editors and historians to be fact. So we can quote them in our paper and get an "A" for sounding brillant. I do not want the USA fabricated. . . . Once I know I've been lied to by some one, I can never trust that person again. I must say, I feel the same way about our government for trying to shove that garbage propaganda down my throat. (Dan Gibbs, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #245]

615) While it is the wish of historians that historical films remain true to their content -- either in detail or in spirit -- films too often sacrifice authenticity for the sake of profit. That, in and of itself, tells us something! Why would a specific deviation from the historical record appeal to a wider audience? to which audience? Even when decisions are made for purely entertainment purposes (and it's never "purely" if you look closely enough), they still are loaded with other layers of meaning. It is not enough to dismiss a movie because the history was terrible. One must ask why? (Patrick O'Brien, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3660]

616) History-making, then, is a creative enterprise, by means of which we fashion out of fragments of human memory and selected evidence of the past a mental construct of a coherent past world that makes sense to the present. (Gerda Lerner 107) [SoundBite #215]

617) The value of the historical film for Zemon Davis resides in its ability to serve as a kind of "thought experiment" about the past, an imaginative activity that allows us to leave the present behind, to project ourselves into a world that is not stamped by our habitual social understandings and our programmed sense of sexuality, family, religion, and interpersonal relations. (Robert Burgoyne 10) [SoundBite #1369]

618) [T]ruth is a market commodity, determined by what will sell. (Frances FitzGerald, America 31) [SoundBite #176]

619) History is one of a series of discourses about the world. These discourses do not create the world (that physical stuff on which we apparently live) but they do appropriate it and give it all the meanings it has. (Keith Jenkins, Re-Thinking 5) [SoundBite #180]

620) The closing chapters on history textbooks might become inquiry exercises, directing students toward facts and readings on both sides of such issues. Surely such an approach would prepare students for their six decades of life after high school better than today's mindlessly upbeat textbook endings. (James W. Loewen 262) [SoundBite #1332]

621) History on film will always be a more personal and quirky reflection on the meaning of the past than is the work of written history. (Robert Rosenstone 66) [SoundBite #361]

622) To provide this analysis of national consciousness I will refer to the formation and operation of what I call the "National Symbolic" -- the order of discursive practices whose reign within a national space produces, and also refers to, the "law" in which the accident of birth within a geographic/political boundary transforms individuals into subjects of a collectively held history. Its traditional icons, its metaphors, its heroes, its rituals, and its narratives provide an alphabet for a collective consciousness or national subjectivity; through the National Symbolic the historical nation aspires to achieve the inevitability of the status of natural law, a birthright. . . . [a] pseudo-genetic condition. (Lauren Berlant 20) [SoundBite #140]

623) Nothing meaningful exists outside of discourse. (Stuart Hall) [SoundBite #136]

624) The aim of history, said Ranke, is simply to state "what has actually happened"; but this is far from being a simple business, even apart from the fact that we can never hope to know all that has actually happened. If we did know all, we should have to forget almost everything before we could understand anything -- just as our memory is an aid only because we remember no more than a minute fraction of our past experience. As it is, the main problem is not so much to fill in the many gaps in our factual knowledge as to make sense out of the vast deal that we do know. For a historical fact never speaks for itself. (Herbert J. Muller 29) [SoundBite #192]

625) The farther back we look, the more "fuzzy" history gets. There are many more different views/beliefs of older history. Is it because history is kind of like the game "telephone"? Is history destined to be distorted/destroyed/recreated/redefined? (Parimal Patel, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1220]

626) By what right do filmmakers speak of the past, by what right do they do history? (Robert Rosenstone 65) [SoundBite #10]

627) The historical film should first bring together the foundational technical elements that define the filmmaking medium. Making those pieces fit together, the script, actors/actresses, director, production design, editing, and more is usually the most difficult task. All the while, the film must attempt to breathe life into the written historical word, do it justice, and give those involved a voice to be heard. Soon enough, the viewers should be able to forget they are simply watching something made for the screen and, instead, experience it as if they were there at the time. Only then can the viewer become, as Robert Rosenstone says, "a prisoner of history." (Calinda Roberts, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1235]

628) There is nothing unusual or sinister in the fact that each generation rewrites history to suit its own needs, or about disagreements within the profession and among the public at large about how history should best be taught and studied. (Eric Foner xi) [SoundBite #1361]

629) The main purpose of all historical writing and research is to gain power for historians or for those they represent in the present [according to Michel Foucault]. . . . Texts -- novels, histories, and so on -- were not, in Foucault's view, the outcomes of individual thought, but "ideological products" of the dominant discourse. History was a fiction of narrative order imposed on the irreducible chaos of events in the interests of the exercise of power. And if one version of the past was more widely accepted than others, this was not because it was nearer the truth, or conformed more closely to "the evidence," but because its exponents had more power within the historical profession, or within society in general, than its critics. (Richard J. Evans 169) [SoundBite #100]

630) History is art; history is also philosophy. Lord Bolingbroke put it for all time when, drawing on the ancients, he defined History as "philosophy teaching by examples." So almost all great historians have thought, from Thucydides to Toynbee. (Henry Steele Commager 11) [SoundBite #92]

631) The historian will always to some extent play the role of story teller -- selecting from a fragmented and disordered array of facts from the past, deciding which to foreground and ordering them into a narrative organization that will be meaningful to the contemporary reader. (Mike Chopra-Gant 59) [SoundBite #1258]

632) Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana, The Life of Reason) [SoundBite #439]

633) Textbook authors...obviously believe that we need to lie to students to instill in them love of country. But if the country is so wonderful, why must we lie? (James W. Loewen 290) [SoundBite #1316]

634) Unless we know where we have been as a nation, it is impossible to know where we are going. (Rush Limbaugh 75) [SoundBite #186]

635) The principle of reenactment implies that the event being revisited actually did occur, but it also implies that this event still has meaning for us in the present. (Robert Burgoyne 11) [SoundBite #1378]

636) Citizens who are their own historians, willing to identify lies and distortions and able to use sources to determine what really went on in the past, become a formidable force for democracy. (James W. Loewen 312) [SoundBite #1327]

637) We would like to think of memory as an exact blueprint. We would like to think that when we experience something, it is accurately stored somewhere in our minds and can be recalled within a moment's notice. But do we actually have to physically experience something for it to be stored in our memory? Furthermore, what does it mean to "physically" experience something? Take sitting in a theater, for example. You are physically in the room, staring at a screen, taking in the images that are presented to you. Is this any less physical than actually being present for real live situations? The mind doesn't seem to think so. After all, the only thing separating us from the characters on the screen is the screen. It's almost as if we are watching real people in real situations. The mind is just as likely to recall these events as it is to recall events actually experienced. (Brendan Feeney, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1233]

638) Like many people of my generation, I owe my classical education to CinemaScope. I can trace the origins of my love of antiquity back to third grade, when I caught sight of a monumental close-up of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton frozen in an imminent kiss on a billboard announcing that Cleopatra was coming soon to a theater near me. (classical scholar Amelia Arenas) [SoundBite #1358]

639) For a people to be without history, or to be ignorant of its history, is as for a man to be without memory -- condemned forever to make the same discoveries that have been made in the past, invent the same techniques, wrestle with the same problems, commit the same errors; and condemned, too, to forfeit the rich pleasures of recollection. Indeed, just as it is difficult to imagine history without civilization, so it is difficult to imagine civilization without history. (Henry Steele Commager 2) [SoundBite #3]

640) Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. (Abraham Lincoln, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 2) [SoundBite #5]

641) Tradition is as inalienable as blood inheritance. In short, we shall resemble our past as a son his father, but we shall be so different that our past would scarcely recognize us and would probably disown us. (Ralph Barton Perry, qtd. in Kammen, Mystic 2) [SoundBite #20]

642) Historical feature films tend to confirm popular existing perceptions of the past while academic historians tend to challenge these. (Mike Chopra-Gant 86) [SoundBite #1257]

643) The crude commercialism of America…[is] entirely due to that country having adopted for its national hero a man who, according to his own confession, was incapable of telling a lie…. (Oscar Wilde, qtd. in Hirsch 24) [SoundBite #25]

644) The history of this country that has been taught has long been the watered-down, privileged version. Historians have typically been middle to upper-class white males that have seen the past only through their own eyes and have tried to present the best America possible. The term “multiculturalism” is indeed ingeniously and accurately coined; we are a nation of many cultures that blend together. We have always been from various backgrounds, and only recently has there been enough respect to include them all in our “collective” history. In fact, this change is not just politically motivated but motivated by the masses. The numerous cultural groups “of people” have gained enough privilege to demand to be included in history. The only historical and cultural distortion was the bland history that was taught in previous generations. History does not contain only one vision (which would make revisionism impossible) but is a compilation of thousands of visions. Every American has his or her own American history. It is about time that we try to educate ourselves on some of those little-known histories of the different cultures of America. (Anne Rodriguez, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1237]

645) If film-makers have our permission to tell fanciful lies, we nonetheless insist that they make those lies moderately credible. We require "true" lies, depictions of the past and present that are comprehensible to us and that locate our own private stories within a larger collective narrative. (George Lipsitz 24) [SoundBite #390]

646) Textbook authors need not concern themselves unduly with what actually happened in history, since publishers use patriotism, rather than scholarship, to sell their books. (James W. Loewen 278) [SoundBite #1310]

647) The course has made it clear that directors and screenwriters, as artists, make conscious decisions about the history that they portray on the big screen. We choose what we want to remember about events of the past and manipulate how we will remember them. This “selective memory” influences the way knowledge is spread to younger generations, rivaling textbooks and challenging the viewer to react. The title of this course takes this tainted view of “real history” into account; Reel American History captures the reel portrayal of historic events, designed to foster real impact. (Kelley Higgins, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2538]

648) [There is] the "narrative of the nation," as it is told and retold in national histories, literatures, the media and popular culture. These provide a set of stories, images, landscapes, scenarios, historical events, national symbols and rituals which stand for, or "represent," the shared experiences, sorrows, and triumphs and disasters which give meaning to the nation. As members of such an "imagined community," we see ourselves in our mind's eye sharing in this narrative. It lends significance and importance to our humdrum existence, connecting our everyday lives with a national destiny that preexisted us and will outlive us. (Stuart Hall 293) [SoundBite #240]

649) [High school textbooks] see our politics as part of a morality play in which the United States typically acts on behalf of human rights, democracy, and the "American Way." When Americans have done wrong, according to this view, it has been because others misunderstood us, or perhaps because we misunderstood the situation. (James W. Loewen 211) [SoundBite #1328]

650) Films allows us to engage and question our history in a way that our grammar school textbooks encourage us not to. (Nick Alakel, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2535]

651) We need to establish a certain amount of distrust in everything we view. (Harrison Lawrence, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2954]

652) Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties, and require a common effort. (Ernest Renan 19) [SoundBite #325]

653) So long as history is a fluid, dynamic field, it will uneasily mingle commemoration and critique. Americans have never agreed on a single, unified version of our past, nor should they if our country is to remain democratic. Nor can anyone find a people anywhere in the world who agree on the course of their national history. Like Americans, they vigorously debate heroes and villains, high points and low points, tragic mistakes and towering successes. (Gary Nash et. al. 22) [SoundBite #330]

654) Historians cut and paste the events of the past into a collage of history. (Travis Statham, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1837]

655) Alabama law used to require that schools avoid "textbooks containing anything partisan, prejudicial, or inimical to the interests of the [white] people of the State" or that would "cast a reflection on their past history." Texas still requires that "textbooks shall not contain material which serves to undermine authority." (James W. Loewen 273) [SoundBite #1308]

656) In theory, the National Symbolic sutures the body and subjectivity to the public sphere of discourse, time, and space that constitutes the "objective" official political reality of the nation. To install such a field of reference requires the production of what Friedrich Nietzsche calls a "mnemotechnics," an official technology of memory whose purpose is to burn into the minds of subjects their intrinsically social experience and responsibility. (Lauren Berlant 34) [SoundBite #350]

657) I am reminded of Housman's remark that "accuracy is a duty, not a virtue." To praise a historian for his accuracy is like praising an architect for using well seasoned timber or properly mixed concrete in his building. It is a necessary condition of his work, but not his essential function. . . . [Facts] belong to the category of the raw materials of the historian rather than of history itself. (Edward Hallett Carr 5) [SoundBite #360]

658) Memory is pliant to power. What a popular perception. Everyone seems to know that powerful people can rewrite the past. When can the powerless rewrite the past? . . . Powerless individuals can rewrite the past, if they unite through collective action. (Timothy Kubal xiii, xv) [SoundBite #2132]

659) How wars are remembered can be just as important as how they were fought. (Jill Lepore, qtd. in Chadwick 5) [SoundBite #2270]

660) One must return to the past in order to move forward. (Sankofa : West African saying) [SoundBite #2321]

661) America has had a relatively short, but productive, history. A lot has happened to this nation of ours, some good, some bad. Sometimes we seem to forget the bright spots in American history, and so we twist these not-so-great events to make them seem better than they actually are. We cannot face history. So many of these films focus on some of the darker times of our history: the beginning of colonization, slavery, moving Native Americans from their homes, war, the violence and hatred of the Civil Rights Movement. But what about the good things from our nation? We have fought for freedom, in our country and for others, since our country was established. We abolished slavery. We pulled together during September 11th against the tragedy. We have made so many movements in the right direction. Instead of focusing on the dark events of America’s past, why can’t we show the bright spots? Maybe because it does not give us a satisfactory film. As viewers, we want to see catastrophe and chaos, not happiness and beauty. We would rather see bad things happen to good and innocent people, cheer for the underdog. What conflict does a happy story bring? It does not provide enough of a plot for the American movie-viewing public. (Caitlin Prozonic, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2523]

662) The burden to make this a unified country lies as much with the complacent majority as with the sullen and resentful minorities. (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. 19) [SoundBite #370]

663) The past is a foreign country. (old saying) [SoundBite #380]

664) "History," writes James Baldwin, an unusually astute observer of twentieth-century American life, "does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do." (qtd. in Foner ix) [SoundBite #1359]

665) Historical films do not just allow us to see what has happened in the past as if we were there, but they encourage us to reflect on our past experiences through an emotional level that would be otherwise unreachable. (Derek D'Anna, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2528]

666) Slotkin's acknowledgment that there is a fictive element even in rigorous academic histories displaces this mode of historical writing...and re-positions it alongside other forms of "writing" that also claim to tell us something about the past. Re-conceived in this way, it becomes clear that scientific history is not a form of transcendental "truth," but a product of the material, historical conditions that have facilitated its development. (Mike Chopra-Gant 57-58) [SoundBite #1261]

667) Nowhere did European colonists settle and live in complete harmony with those who occupied the land previously. America is part of this tradition. It was born out of conflict, and though colonization is over, the powder keg of that culture war is still here. Accordingly, films about "us" are often wrought with questionable representations of ourselves and one another. But this is part of the American tradition. To create a genre of American film making about which we are all in agreement is itself a kind misrepresentation of American history. (Erin Thorn, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2530]

668) National leaders try to control the collective memory in order to forge a civic identity, while other groups in society recount particular stories to build solidarity, often in defiance of those seeking a shared past. (Joyce Appleby et. al. 155) [SoundBite #410]

669) The history of a nation is, unfortunately, too easily written as the history of its dominant class. (Kwame Nkrumah 63) [SoundBite #420]

670) Though I had never realized how much is factually altered in many “historical” films, I understand that this is usually to create a better movie and to make the United States seem more like the country that we think ourselves to be. We want to cover the black spots, conceal them so that we can try to forget the bad events of the past and try to move onto a better future. But we are only human. We will fail again, and film will be there to capture every faltering moment. (Caitlin Prozonic, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2524]

671) Recalling the rhetoric of the past, and measuring it against the actual past, may enable us to see through our current bamboozlement, where the reality is still unfolding, and the discrepancies still not apparent. (Howard Zinn 45) [SoundBite #440]

672) Neither people nor nations live historical "stories"; narratives, that is, coherent beginnings, middles, and endings, are constructed by historians as part of their attempts to make sense of the past. The narratives that historians write are in fact "verbal fictions"; written history is a representation of the past, not the past itself. . . . To the extent that written narratives are in fact "verbal fictions," then visual narratives will be "visual fictions" -- that is, not mirrors of the past but representations of it. (Robert Rosenstone 35) [SoundBite #135]

673) I found myself to be consistently amazed by how much of my historical knowledge comes from popular culture. The facts that I learned from movies were, to me, just that, facts. We let ourselves be influenced by what we see on the silver screen regardless of what we know to be true. Without a working knowledge of how film makers try to manipulate the public, we are in danger of allowing Hollywood to make decisions for the American people. (Samuel Olsen, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2575]

674) A movie creates a self-contained world that can bring complex situations to life in a very accessible way; more so than the hollow retelling of them that we get as part of the official discourse. Movies -- and the self-contained realities they create -- imprint themselves indelibly on the mind. And it's not even necessary to understand all the nuances. We are captivated by unforgettable moments -- images and events that won't ever leave us. People sit in the dark and pay unconditional attention for two hours. You can't skim a movie. You have to watch every frame. Not only are people immersed in that world, but they do so collectively, creating a new intimacy, a new community of sharing and belonging -- in effect a new culture unique to that film. Ideally, every filmmaker should feel a tremendous sense of moral responsibility before, during, and after undertaking an effort to, in effect, play God and create a new world. (Salvador Carrasco 176-77) [SoundBite #2751]

675) The historical film can be distinguished by this dual focus. By reenacting the past in the present, the historical film brings the past into dialog with the present. The critical interest of this genre of films lies precisely in the juxtaposition of old and new, the powerful sense that what is being rendered on-screen is not an imaginary world, but a once-existing world that is being reinscribed in an original way. (Robert Burgoyne 11) [SoundBite #1373]

676) The passage of time does not in itself provide perspective, however. Information is lost as well as gained over time. (James W. Loewen 270) [SoundBite #1287]

677) Those of us who love to read may argue that good writing accomplishes that same rapture. However, the filmmaker enables us to hear, feel, and see exactly what he/she wants us to hear, feel, and see. We buy it because we want so much to be a part of the story. (Teresa Salvatore, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1229]

678) The historian, writes Veronica Wedgwood, "ought to be the humblest of men; he is faced a dozen times a day with the evidence of his own ignorance; he is perpetually confronted with his own humiliating inability to interpret his material correctly; he is, in a sense that no other writer is, in bondage to that material." (Henry Steele Commager 43) [SoundBite #148]

679) I have no doubt that 10 out of 10 kids in a classroom environment would rather watch a historical movie that read 30 pages of a text book. However historical accuracy and legitimacy come into question when you take a step back and look at what the children are actually watching. With film, one walks such a thin line between fact and faux that at some point we need to reevaluate the methods we are using to educate. (Harrison Lawrence, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2953]

680) There are, of course, the people who enjoy the kinds of films that make you think. But isn't this just another form of being entertained? I can't say I've ever heard of someone whose life changed dramatically after seeing a socially conscious film. (Brendan Feeney, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #1241]

681) The effectiveness of this type of historical narrative on film [Lawrence of Arabia] is achieved only at the cost of significant departures from the historical realities of the events and persons depicted in the movie. (Mike Chopra-Gant 78) [SoundBite #1260]

682) It is impossible for historians to be perfectly unbiased, although it is their responsibility. (Jaeyong Shim, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2955]

683) The days of heroic history are past. (Donald F. Stevens 2) [SoundBite #222]

684) Granted, the study of history is a subjective pursuit. For example, hundreds of people were at the grassy knoll in Dallas when President Kennedy’s motorcade passed by, and I’d wager that each of them recalls a slightly different version of what transpired. The study of his assassination continues to this day and will continue long after we’re gone. Thousands of FBI documents, Oliver Stone’s JFK, the 1525 books on, 4+ million Google hits and countless other articles, textbooks, documentaries, television shows and any communication tool available to mankind prove this. It’s history and up for interpretational “grabs” so to speak and that’s ok. We live in the land of the free. What bugs me is when historical grabs become non-stop “gab” sessions and nothing more than untruthful fodder for endless self-serving platforms. (Lynn Farley, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2957]

685) The horrors of history are as important as historical heroism when inciting inspiration. Movies like Platoon and Schindler’s List inspire outbursts of “never again.” The true inspirational benefit of history can only be achieved when the good, the bad, and the ugly are conveyed. (Katherine Prosswimmer, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2958]

686) History –- that’s what those bitter old men write. (Jackie Onassis) [SoundBite #2959]

687) We have positive as well as negative assessments of the cultural role of tradition. From an affirmative point of view, a surge of tradition can supply the basis for social cohesion, especially in a nation so heterogeneous as the United States. Where religious, ethnic, and regional diversity are such centripetal forces, a sense of nationality and of its symptomatic “official culture” can be useful. . . . From a critical perspective, on the other hand, traditions are commonly relied upon by those who possess the power to achieve an illusion of social consensus. Such people invoke the legitimacy of an artificially constructed past in order to buttress presentist assumptions and the authority of a regime. (Michael Kammen, Mystic 4-5) [SoundBite #118]

688) When people go to the movies they look to turn their brains off -- their skepticism is down -- and arrive willing to suspend disbelief. The audience is immersed in the movie-going experience, and their attention is undivided (for the most part). Psychoanalysts (Freudians) would argue, and this seems completely logical, that we view a movie in search of a character or characters that we can identify with, or, more powerfully, that we subconsciously see as a reflection of our self (they call it “mirroring" -- and often it’s more wishful thinking than reality). All this makes it worrisome that movies seem very much like high school history textbooks. Their prepackaged narrative fosters passive learning and presupposes that a “truth” is possible. I don’t mean to argue that history is futile (I teach it and think we all need to know it), but it seems that there is not enough awareness of what history is -- and that it’s literally present in all we do and think (I just ripped off James Baldwin). (Patrick O'Brien, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2961]

689) I guess in a perfect world, film would encourage us to do further research. Sadly so many people go to a movie, shut off their brains, and start to drool. When I use a film in the classroom, I am constantly fighting this attitude. (Edward Tabor, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2962]

690) According to Peter Novick...looking at every white college and university in America, exactly one black was ever employed to teach history before 1945! Most historians were males from privileged white families. They wrote with blinders on. (James W. Loewen 266) [SoundBite #1290]

691) Although I agree that certain parts of events are more prevalent in our memories than others, the question is why. Why do people remember specific things more vividly than others? I flip-flopped back and forth with my own thoughts trying to take one side and explain why this choosing occurs. I was unable to reach a conclusion, however, because I can see how this choosing can sometimes be deliberate but other times intuitive. (Sarah Ballan, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #2964]

692) Oppositional or dialogical history challenges conventional . . . history by questioning both the relative value of what is examined and the implicit values of the examiner. It sees the very processes and ambitions of historiography as products of much larger forces and it seeks to understand the relationships between those present forces and the hierarchical imperative of the past. . . . Dialogical history gives us a choice of pasts, too. But that very choice or pluralism is subversive since it implies that . . . [history] is not simply inherited but constructed, and constructed according to the . . . categories we devise. (Cathy Davidson, qtd. in Berkhofer 8) [SoundBite #315]

693) If the past seems always under construction, that is because each generation has to decide for itself what it wants to remember and what it wants forgot -- and who will remember it. For the kinds of persons we become is largely a function of the kinds of persons we adopt as predecessors, and the beliefs and values and ways of thinking they embody. (David Harlan 55) [SoundBite #347]

694) The past isn't dead; it isn't even past. (William Faulkner) [SoundBite #515]

695) Even as film and television are increasingly important as interpreters of history, most professional historians have seen filmmakers as outsiders who need not be addressed. (Donald F. Stevens 5) [SoundBite #415]

696) Movies can tell us about ourselves. A film gets made because someone thought that it would resonate with the public mind. The decisions involved throughout it its creation -- from writing the script to editing during post-production -- tell us about the norms and desires of our society. Many characters are created knowing that most moviegoers look for characters or story lines to identify with. In that sense, movies and the characters therein, represent on some level, what we strive to be -- the reality we wish we had. (Patrick O'Brien, Lehigh University) [SoundBite #3659]

697) To paraphrase Bacon, we must put history to the rack, we must compel it to answer our questions. Our questions, derived from our needs, couched in our terms. (David Harlan 30) [SoundBite #277]

698) Curators of history museums know that their visitors bring archetypes in with them. Some curators consciously design exhibits to confront these archetypes when they are inaccurate. Textbooks, authors, teachers, and moviemakers would better fulfill their educational mission if they also taught against inaccurate archetypes. (James W. Loewen 22) [SoundBite #4303]

699) Not only do textbooks fail to blame the federal government for its opposition to the civil rights movement, many actually credit the government, almost single-handedly, for the advances made during the period. In doing so, textbooks follow what we might call the Hollywood approach to civil rights. (James W. Loewen 228) [SoundBite #4304]

700) Textbooks abandon their idealistic presentations of Reconstruction in favor of the Confederate meth, for if blacks were inferior, then the historical period in which they enjoyed equal rights must have been dominated by wrong-thinking Americans. Vaudeville continued the portrayal of silly, lying, chicken–stealing black idiots. So did early silent movies. (James W. Loewen 157) [SoundBite #4305]

701) We must ask what kinds of coverage textbooks provide, beginning with the images they supply. Photographs have been part of the record of war in the United States since Matthew Brady's famous images of the Civil War. In Vietnam, television images joined still photos to shape the perceptions and sensibility of the American people. More than any other war in our history, the Vietnam War was distinguished by a series of images that seared themselves into the public consciousness. (James W. Loewen 235) [SoundBite #4306]

702) Even if teachers do not challenge textbook doctrine, students and the rest of us are potential sources of change. If that statement seems idealistic, consider that African-American students have actively pressured several urban school systems for new curricula. White high school students the wrong to see revisionist movies about American history, whether by Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves) to Spike Lee. Not history itself but traditional American history courses turn students off. Whether we read textbooks, see historical movies, or visit museum exhibits, we must learn how to deal with sources. (James W. Loewen 310-11) [SoundBite #4307]

703) Cinematic stereotypes about African-Americans had been a staple of filmmakers before World War I. . . . Films relating to war and military service represented in some way are an exception to the pattern. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 16) [SoundBite #4308]

704) The motion picture industry generally had done well during the war years. Moviemakers dutifully had cranked out hundreds of one and two reel features with war plots, most of which had brought an average return of a few thousand dollars. Many of these films were of the trite heroic genre, although some moved far enough into the fantastic to be remembered today as examples of the extremism of the home front at war. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 41) [SoundBite #4309]

705) By constructing, formalizing, and mythologizing the actions and attitudes of fighter pilots, especially aces, the expert ones who would shot down many aircraft, the World War I air combat films like The Dawn Patrol constructed a mythical reality more real than history itself. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 66) [SoundBite #4310]

706) A movie like The Fighting 69th helps to make more comprehensive men and events about which there was both great national concern and serious agreement. An industry, such as the movies, tied to markets abroad (often the margin of the film's profit) and worried about censorship at home, well understood what has been called "the dangers of cinematic advocacy." Filmmakers, even advocates such as the brothers Warner, adopted a policy of "watchful waiting." (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 117) [SoundBite #4311]

707) On the surface at least, war-related motion pictures released in the United States during the neutrality years do seem to mirror the country's transformation from a neutral nation to an active participant in World War I. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 214) [SoundBite #4312]

708) From the opening scene of Oliver Stone's Platoon to the closing scene of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, the motive of corrupted innocence is shared by nearly all major books and films that deal with Vietnam. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 181) [SoundBite #4313]

709) The World War I films of the 1920s and early 1930s provided recollections –- some nostalgic, some horrific, some tinged with antiwar sentiment –- of the often futile heroism and camaraderie of the war. (Peter C. Rollins and John E. O’Connor 249) [SoundBite #4314]

710) The erosion of the presumed boundary between factual and fictional discourses has been the subject of much anguished commentary, with films that focus on the historical past sometimes held to standards of authenticity and verifiability that nearly equal the standards applied to scholarly historical texts. (Robert Burgoyne 5) [SoundBite #4315]

711) The erosion of the presumed boundary between factual and fictional discourses has been the subject of much anguished commentary, with films that focus on the historical past sometimes held to standards of authenticity and verifiability that nearly equal the standards applied to scholarly historical texts. (Robert Burgoyne 5) [SoundBite #4316]

712) As a myth of national origin, the western serves and emblematic nationalist function, for it is a form capable of mediating and containing the central contradiction in American ideology – the contradiction posed by race. (Robert Burgoyne 48) [SoundBite #4317]

713) Melodrama constitutes a privileged form of popular connection with the past, and has provided a "particularly significant form of participation and investment within American commercial culture since World War II." (Robert Burgoyne 60) [SoundBite #4318]

714) Vietnam was represented in the 80s mainly as a family trauma, embodied in the person of the psychologically disturbed veteran, who the family structure alone could cure. Even when the American family was not present in the narrative, anxiety over the family was never the less visible in a displaced form, shifted onto the Vietnamese peasant family. The massacre or murder of a peasant family, often with the Vietnamese child represented as the sole survivor, became a standard seen in these films. (Robert Burgoyne 78) [SoundBite #4319]

715) Traditional forms of historical explanation, relying on concepts of human agency and causality, assume a kind of narrative omniscience over events that, by their scale and magnitude, elude a totalizing explanation. Modernist forms, in contrast, offer the possibility of representing, for the Western world, the traumatic events of the 20th century, such as the two world wars, the Great Depression, and the use of genocide as a state policy, in a manner that does not pretend to contain or define them. (Robert Burgoyne 89) [SoundBite #4320]

716) The extraordinary degree of contestation and debate circulating around recent interpretations of the American past has brought into view the powerful role that social memory plays in constructing concepts of nation. (Robert Burgoyne 104) [SoundBite #4321]

717) The contemporary desire to re-experience history in the sensuous way speaks to an analogous desire to dispel the aura of the past as object of professional historical contemplation and to restore it to the realm of affective experience in a form that is comparable to sensual memory. (Robert Burgoyne 105) [SoundBite #4322]

718) The reasons for the popularity of the gangster hero during the early years of the depression are still a matter of conjecture. There has always been room for the antihero an American popular culture (witness Billy the Kid and Jesse James), but these were usually cast in the Robin Hood "rob the rich to feed the poor" mold. The urban, ethnic gangster seldom had any such redeeming qualities in the films of the early 1930s, although by the end of the decade, the second cycle of gangster films, which began in 1935, concentrated on the role of the crime fighters and their war against criminals. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 68) [SoundBite #4323]

719) The evidence of the commercial film is useful because of its appeal to a mass audience. Common themes in films often reflect the years, desires, ideas, attitudes, or beliefs of the mass audience to which they play. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 19) [SoundBite #4324]

720) Historians using novels, memoirs, and other literary productions often make assumptions of effect when they have no audience analysis upon which to depend. The difference between using film and literature as historical evidence is one of degree, not of quality. If anything, film evidence may be more useful because of its wider audience. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 19) [SoundBite #4325]

721) Throughout the history of American movies, blacks with uneven success pressed moviemakers to alter their conceptions of the black characters who appeared on the screen. One of the tactics that persisted throughout the period between the world wars with the production of "race movies" for the consumption of black Americans. Oftimes these movies were the products of interracial and even white companies, with a good ear and eye for the social and aesthetic concerns of blacks. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 40) [SoundBite #4326]

722) Race movies crew to maturity simultaneously with the growth of Northern black urban ghettos. The coincidence of visual medium of expression and growing audience contributed to the development of race movies into a distinct genre. Almost every race movie beneath its surface melodrama presented black audiences with sharply etched messages of advocacy, aspiration, group unity, and slogans against racism. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 40) [SoundBite #4327]

723) Confronted by the realities of militant totalitarianism in Europe, the United States had by mid-1938 begun to budge from its passive isolationist stance. Hitler's persecutions and racial discrimination graded against the nation's Christian morals and distaste for dictatorship. While President Roosevelt still faced substantial opposition in his determination to get the country more actively involved in European affairs, most Americans, even the staunchest isolationist, agreed that strong measures should be taken to preserve the Western Hemisphere as democracy's fortress. And the film industry, always restive in its marriage of convenience with the government, was anxious to make a contribution. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 184) [SoundBite #4328]

724) While films relate to ideology, they also relate to specific historical and social events, most obviously when the content of a film deals directly with a subject that is identifiable in its own period. (John E. O’Connor and Martin A. Jackson 204) [SoundBite #4329]

725) Societal developments can also effect changes in the genre, forcing new twists and storylines as times change. Cinematic artists often adjust traditional tales or create new plots based on recent events. (Robert Brent Toplin 11) [SoundBite #4330]

726) When media commentators and professional historians complain that a motion picture left out too many important facts or failed to give audiences a complete picture of the events, often they fail to acknowledge a fundamental structural component of cinematic history. Critics forget that dramatic film cannot deliver a comprehensive assessment of its subject. To make history understandable and exciting, filmmakers have to narrow the scope of their portrayals. Usually they dramatize only a few events, cover a narrow piece of time, and give detailed attention to the thoughts and actions of only a few key people. The subject of the movie is also rather tightly focused on one situation from the past. (Robert Brent Toplin 17) [SoundBite #4331]

727) Many decades ago, Hollywood's cinematic historians were inclined to study the lives of the elite. This tendency was not just a result of the filmmakers enthusiasm for stories about the rich, famous, and powerful; movie audiences seem particularly interested in these tales. From the 1930s to the 1950s, especially, Hollywood released abundant docudramas dealing with prominent figures from history. (Robert Brent Toplin 30) [SoundBite #4332]

728) The historical genre also favors stories that place these common folk in struggles against some terrible injustice affecting them or their family or friends. Cinematic history often portrays its heroes and Noble fights against oppression, exploitation, or prejudice. There is an uplifting quality in this kind of historical drama. Audiences sense early in these stories that the heroic characters are right in their beliefs, but people in positions of authority will not listen to them or respect their ideas. (Robert Brent Toplin 34) [SoundBite #4333]

729) When movies project images of the past through myriad, often dazzling period details, they can educate audiences in a variety of subtle ways. (Robert Brent Toplin 48) [SoundBite #4334]

730) A serious and balanced look at cinematic history requires a more complex response to movies than the simplistic "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" approach of movie reviewers on television and in popular magazines. Even good cinematic history contains a great deal of fiction and manipulation of the facts, and even poor cinematic history that bends the facts to a troublesome degree can dramatize aspects of the past impressively. (Robert Brent Toplin 61) [SoundBite #4335]

731) Modern-day cinematic history avoids detailed portraits of noted individuals from the past and offers fewer biographies of famous figures such as the ones depicted in Flynn movies: Queen Elizabeth, Jeb Stuart, George Armstrong Custer. Today's Hollywood often privileges faction, which is less vulnerable to attack on the basis of historical accuracy. (Robert Brent Toplin 103) [SoundBite #4336]

732) Virtually all Hollywood perspectives on history offer biographical approaches to their subject, presenting issues and events in terms of the experiences of one or two principal figures. Movies personalize history by placing these few figures at the center of their dramas, and they trace important developments by viewing the way these individuals experience them. By following the activities of one or two major characters, Hollywood dramas can suggest broad questions related to their experiences. (Robert Brent Toplin 123) [SoundBite #4337]

733) The familiar claim that Hollywood storytelling promotes conservative values is fundamentally wrong. It reflects little appreciation for the power of the genre. (Robert Brent Toplin 170) [SoundBite #4338]

734) Cinematic history needs to be addressed with a different vision of achievement and failure. Discussions about its value ought to be couched in language that takes into account the distinctive conditions under which commercial filmmakers operate. (Robert Brent Toplin 202) [SoundBite #4339]