An estimated 100 billion people have struggled through life over the last 50,000 years. Around 7% of them are still alive and kicking today. So history has to be selective – every point of focus excludes millions more. What we need is more random sampling in a world of endless agendas, propaganda and pre-conceptions.
As Norman Davies writes in his fascinating book Vanished Kingdoms – The Lives and Afterlives of Europe’s Lost Realms – “Selectivity, whether of location, or date or theme, is the key to understanding all appeals to history, and one should not pretend that it is risk free”.
History kills – be careful how you use it!