Author(s): James Robinson
As a historical student who for a good many years has been especially engaged in inquiring how man happens to have the ideas and convictions about himself and human relations which now prevail, the writer has reached the conclusion that history can at least shed a great deal of light on our present predicaments and confusion. I do not mean by history that conventional chronicle of remote and irrelevant events which embittered the youthful years of many of us, but rather a study of how man has come to be as he is and to believe as he does. No historian has so far been able to make the whole story very plain or popular, but a number of considerations are obvious enough, and it ought not to be impossible some day to popularize them. I venture to think that if certain seemingly indisputable historical facts were generally known and accepted and permitted to play a daily part in our thought, the world would forthwith become a very different place from what it now is. We could then neither delude ourselves in the simple-minded way we now do, nor could we take advantage of the primitive ignorance of others.