To view history as a factual rendition of what previously occurred is perhaps naive. There is too much of it, and one must always pay attention to who is telling the story, and why. The devil is in the details.
The assumption—so often mistaken—is that others are striving to achieve historical accuracy. When that isn't their goal at all. Rather, the point of history, to them, is to salve their own inflamed and aching sense of self. To make their boo-boo better. In this common condition, all bets are off. Grandiosity is as human a condition as bilateral symmetry, and almost as common. Though it leads to all sorts of ludicrous situation, where people simultaneously portray themselves as heroes and victims—boldly striving across the world stage while at the same time continually betrayed by their inferiors.
I noticed the following on a Facebook friend's feed Sunday:
Typically, I try to avoid Facebook disputes. But I couldn't in good conscious hurry past this one. So I flopped by fingers on the keyboard, and pointed out that the Nazis invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and France and Great Britain declared war on Germany two days later. Not neglect in the usual sense of the word. The "no one did for us"concept is both wrong, and an indictment of the "support so much" claim. Nobody seems to be declaring war on Russia.
Not yet anyway.
I went back to the friend's page the next day, and noticed the she had simply deleted the post, leaving an undisturbed chain of cute cats and lovely birds. Which is the fate of history that doesn't sit back and applaud our own precious selves. It simply vanishes.