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Thread: How about making a standard history book?

  1. #1 How about making a standard history book? 
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    These days I have been thinking about it...

    As a country can write textbooks however they want,the history taught in each country are quite different.I found it necessary to make it the same. For example,with time going by, it will be more and more difficult to find out what happend exactly one hundred years ago from now,as the people who got through it won't alive then and the newly-made evidence will be disturbing(such as textbooks in Europe and Asia). I'm not saying that history about science, I'm saying history about war and politics,such as the history about the Second World War or the history of capitalism and communism.I think children in the future have the right to know the history and various theories objectively, not indoctrinated ideas which the country advocates.


    I know it's difficult to let a country admit they had done something unjust such as violent invasion,and it's also difficult to let a European country tell advantages of Marxism to the students or let North Korea and China tell the advantages of capitalism in student's textbooks. But isn't it necessary to have an edition of history book, covering the world's history most objectively and written by people from different coungtries in different languages? Without any politic prejudice,just trying to write the truth,and the historians in each country cooperating.(Arguing among those historians are better than among countries,huh?)


    Maybe the article can't be made public or be admitted for some time, but it can be preserved and one day it will be made known.The sooner it is made, the more exact about modern times it is.I wonder how you think of this.


    Last edited by Roseaux; February 5th, 2014 at 06:46 AM.
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post
    As a country can write textbooks howeber they want,the history taught in each country are quite different.
    The question is: are these histories significantly different?

    the newly-made evidence will be disturbing
    What?

    (such as textbooks in Europe and Asia). I'm not saying that history about science, I'm saying history about war and politics,such as the history about the Second World War or the history of capitalism and communism.I think children in the future have the right to know the history and various theories objectively, not indoctrinated ideas which the country advocates.
    Yeah, how, exactly, do you get an objective history?
    Take, for example, WWII and Britain's contribution/ position.
    There are (at the very least) two schools of thought: Britain alone against Nazi Europe and fighting for survival (simplified) and [David Egerton's] British Empire (all 500 million of us!) going into WWII with the almost certain knowledge/ belief that we were going to win.
    Or even something as simple as the (non) existence of Blitzkrieg.
    How about the efficacy/ cost-effectiveness of the strategic bombing campaign?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post
    As a country can write textbooks howeber they want,the history taught in each country are quite different.
    The question is: .
    the newly-made evidence will be disturbing
    What?
    (such as textbooks in Europe and Asia). I'm not saying that history about science, I'm saying history about war and politics,such as the history about the Second World War or the history of capitalism and communism.I think children in the future have the right to know the history and various theories objectively, not indoctrinated ideas which the country advocates.
    Yeah, how, exactly, do you get an objective history?Take, for example, WWII and Britain's contribution/ position.There are (at the very least) two schools of thought: Britain alone against Nazi Europe and fighting for survival (simplified) and [David Egerton's] British Empire (all 500 million of us!) going into WWII with the almost certain knowledge/ belief that we were going to win.Or even something as simple as the (non) existence of Blitzkrieg.How about the efficacy/ cost-effectiveness of the strategic bombing campaign?
    It's not the focal point. Controversial things can remain as they are, but some issues have enough evidence to prove.What I'm talking about is a book written by people not just from one country and can be referred to even hundred years later, maybe not completely exact but a little more credible than other various history books.

    Are these histories significantly different?Yes,they are. Some incidents are described quite different,not in how to evaluate it, but in its process and even about it exists or not. I'm saying all the countries, if you have the chance to read the textbooks of those in European countries, China, Japan, Korea and India,you will be surprised by how different they are.Some things among them are almost uncontested, but still one or two country write differently in textbooks. Admitting it is controversial will also be better.

    And about the newly made evidence...what I want to say is that decades later, the books about history written now will also be a disturbing evidence to find out the truth
    Last edited by Roseaux; February 5th, 2014 at 07:44 AM.
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post
    Yes,they are. Some incidents are described quite different,not in how to evaluate it, but in its process and even about it exists or not. I'm saying all the countries, if you have the chance to read the textbooks of those in European countries, China, Japan, Korea and India,you will be surprised by how different they are.
    Examples please.

    Ah....what I want to say is that decades later, the books about history written now will also be a disturbing evidence to find out the truth
    That would be because information isn't available now 1. That means that we can't write those "objective" histories now.

    maybe not completely exact but a little more credible than other various history books.
    What's not "credible" about current history books?

    1 For various reasons: secrecy (state/ personal), agendas (state/ personal), knowledge...
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  6. #5  
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    You mean something like The Bible.
    Official, authoritative, unquestionable.
    God I hope not!
    It is bad enough when one country tries that.
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  7. #6  
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    If a lot of books tell different stories,how can you tell which one is more credible? If a book is written by people in different countries and beliefs , won't there be less prejudice?

    The difference is not obvious among European countries, the are between Europe and Asia. How do you know about The Opium war, the Eight Power Allied Forces?I don't want to argue about that, A small and inessential example, the South Korea's textbook says Tagore has written a poem saying Korea is his ideal homeland, but the sentences actually are in Gitanjali,describing heaven. It proves that one country can write their textbooks as they like.

    And I don't mean a book like Bible - I mean it also can contain different ideas. Just a book a little more objective,
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post
    Just a book a little more objective,
    But every example you give just demonstrates that history cannot be objective. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post

    And I don't mean a book like Bible - I mean it also can contain different ideas. Just a book a little more objective,
    By like the Bible I was referring to the recieved wisdom aspect of it. What you are proposing is a very authoritarian thing. You intend to deny people the right to write their own histories and to force them to accept the "Supreme Committee on History" version of history instead.

    With the local versions of history you might be able to question them and to verify them by checking them against each other.
    With the "Supreme Committee on History" version you can't do that.

    Also with the Bible we saw that for over 1400 years anybody who questioned it was declared a heretic and punished, possibly even killed, or worse. Your idea would require your offical history to be enforced otherwise people would just ignore it and write their own history anyhow.

    I also wonder why you think a centrally authorised history would not be distorted for political reasons anyhow. I believe the most powerful nations involved would demand that history to serve their interests just like what happens in the UN now.
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    And you also have to bear in mind that in most modern countries there are records of many events, and the cabinet discussions and government policies that led up to them, but the various secrecy acts mean that disclosure is embargoed for 10, 20, 50 or 100 years.

    In many cases, we have to speculate and postulate on the basis of what little is publicly known until the embargo period expires. So a definitive history cannot possibly be written within the lifetimes of the historical actors in the first place.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  11. #10  
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    How about everyone is allowed to write their own views
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roseaux View Post

    As a country can write textbooks however they want....
    That's right, most countries can. The citizens in some parts of the world, however, can't. History in these dark places is a matter of legislation, as opposed to saying what you think happened. If I said the wrong thing on here I'd have to be very careful when next on holiday in certain parts of Western Europe.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues View Post
    How about everyone is allowed to write their own views
    See above.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
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  14. #13  
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    I generally avoid linking to XKCD, or to something similar, but it explains it better than I could and more briefly. https://xkcd.com/927/
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  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
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    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
    Ambrose Bierce



    Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
    H. L. Mencken


    History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there.
    George Santayana
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  16. #15  
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    A history book with no bias would be unimaginably boring. A simple list of what armies went where, how many died on both sides. Nothing is ever described as "murder" or an "attrocity" because those concepts depend on the observer. Nobody is ever the "aggressor". You can't have your novelized battles of good against evil in an unbiased history book.

    Even the cause of the war cannot really be examined. Nobody caused it. It just happened?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    ~ History tends to be recorded by the victor.. History is often little more than a agreed upon lie. The view of the people down at the front line, the victims or, the slaughtered do not get to record history if they are dead. Stepping back and learning what really happened is itself a war like task. The first victim of war is the truth. Just finding the truths we speak of are nearly impossible.. To find a well documented truth of conflict you often need to find a third view.. without agenda.

    ~ This little story is as true as I can recall;" While entertaining a family group including a Upstate New York exchange student Elizabeth. We opened a around the picnic table conversation with talking of global events of the day.. That the armies of England and the USA were massing near the borders of Kuwait. Where a invasion or change of status had occurred. The guest Elizabeth stated that it is a horror to consider that "Saddam's armies might set nuclear weapons against any invasion" .. "What a horror it would be to see nuclear weapons used ." I politely reminded Elizabeth that it was the USA that actually did that. She retorted with some anger.." That saturation bombing of Japan by the B52's is what ended that war.. I asked if she had ever heard of the 'Enola Gay'.? No, what was that ? A internet search was suggested.. and the conversation turned to nicer subjects.. A few hours later Elizabeth came to us obviously upset.. " I was wrong. How could I be so misinformed.?" she said. That might not have been your fault dear.. History can be so easily rewritten. We talked of music and arts, much safer.
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  18. #17  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ History tends to be recorded by the victor.
    And yet there's a growing market for (his)stories from the losing side...

    That saturation bombing of Japan by the B52's is what ended that war.
    Close: B-29s.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ History tends to be recorded by the victor.
    And yet there's a growing market for (his)stories from the losing side...

    That saturation bombing of Japan by the B52's is what ended that war.
    Close: B-29s.
    The events and words said were some years ago and not by me... You seem to have a tense issue,
    ~ that was then, this is now, but do Ducks understand any of this ? Your name could be Daffy... Oops
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  20. #19  
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    ~ Sorry Daffy that was not fare.. I just do not see why you feel the need to correct what I did not say..
    The point of who should assemble the true historic record was at issue.. That we the public are found to be lied to so often, I almost expect it.. I can remember a search for weapons of mass destruction and hidden chemical stockpiles.. Sometimes finding the truth might get you into more trouble than telling lies. Did 'they' ever actually find them ? Any ?
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