Blogs > Cliopatria > "All Modern Wars Start in the History Classroom."

May 7, 2004 9:38 am

"All Modern Wars Start in the History Classroom."

Who said that? Who said"All modern wars start in the history classroom?" It's part of the Ferenc Szasz history quotation collection, but it's listed as"anonymous." That's fine for the test I'm putting it on -- I put epigrams, mostly history-related, on just about every handout there's room for one, and I have have my own pretty extensive quote file which I've been developing for years -- but I'd like to know. It's not on the web, at least not in this form or any obviously related variant. Does anyone know?

We could discuss whether it's true or not, too. I can't think, off the top of my head, of a modern war that didn't have at least a big portion of its justification in some past injury or humiliation enshrined by official national narrative into a collective and ongoing victimization. Oscar Chamberlain brought up the question a little while ago, here, and the consensus was that well-done history can encompass remembrance without perpetual vengeance, but that well-done history, particularly at the level of popular/national imagination is a terribly rare thing.

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