Americans Should Be Comfortable with Historical Complexity, Not Afraid of It

This is an interesting article that I found on the internet. Read the full post here.

History is complicated, though many times we want to simplify it. Any single point in history does not exist in a vacuum. There are actions leading up to it, motives that lead people to make those actions, and simultaneous actions that are completely unrelated. Historians have to look backward to try to make sense of all of it. Sometimes as more facts and sources are discovered, we find out there was more to the story than we originally thought. Victors write history, but to get a full understanding of truth, we need to search out the loser's point of view, too.

Many times this digging makes people nervous, and sometimes, rightly so. People from all political opinions have over-emphasized certain narratives in history to prove their point. We shouldn't fear what we find when we dig. Chris Gehrz says:

we ought neither give too much weight to any single explanation of the past nor disregard theoretical insights that shed light on the complications of the past.

The truth is the truth. If what we believe is true, then no matter how much anyone digs, they won't undo it. But if what we understand isn't true, then it should be our fear that we never understand what is true.