On History

ఈ మధ్య కాలంలో చదవగానే చురుక్కుమనిపించి, మళ్ళీ మళ్ళీ గుర్తొచ్చి, ఆలోచించగా "ఎంత నిజం!" అనిపించిన వాక్యాలు -
It is the misfortune of humanity that its history is chiefly written by third-rate men. The first-rate man seldom has any impulse to record and philosophise; his impulse is to act; life, to him, is an adventure, not a syllogism or an autopsy. Thus the writing of history is left to college professors, moralists, theorists, dunder-heads. Few historians, great or small, have shown any capacity for the affairs they presume to describe and interpret. Gibbon was an inglorious failure as a member of Parliament. Thycydides made such a mess of his military (or, rather, naval) command that he was exiled from Athens for twenty years and finally assassinated. Flavius Josephus, serving as governor of Galilee, lost the whole province to the Romans, and had to flee for his life. Momssen, elected to the Prussian Landtag, flirted with the Socialists. How much better we would understand the habits and nature of man if there were more historians like Julius Caesar, or even like Niccolo Machiavelli! Remembering the sharp and devastating character of their rough notes, think what marvelous histories Bismarck, Washington and Frederick the Great might have written! Such men are privy to the facts; the usual historians have to depend on deductions, rumors, guesses. Again, such men know how to tell the truth, however unpleasant; they are wholly free of that puerile moral obsession which marks the professor.... But they so seldom tell it! Well, perhaps some of them have—and their penalty is that they are damned and forgotten.

HL Mencken వ్రాసిన Damn! అన్న పుస్తకం నుంచి.
చరిత్ర సృష్టించే వారు, చరిత్రలో నిలిచే పనులు చేసే వారు, ఆ అనుభవాలను చరిత్రగా రాయడానికి అర్హులూ అయిన వారికి, పోస్టుమార్టం రాతలు రాసే సమయమెక్కడ ఉంటుంది? నిజమే, మానవాళి చరిత్రను 3rd rate men రాయడం దౌర్భాగ్యమే.
así es la vida!!

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