Any child knows that history can only be a reduced representation of reality, but it must be a true one, not distorted by queer lenses.
Everyone agrees to that; but when we come to define truth, dissension starts.
I have nothing revolutionary or even novel to offer.
Historical methodology, as I see it, is a product of common sense applied to circumstances.
If a lecturer, he wishes to be heard; if a writer, to be read. He always hopes for a public beyond that of the long-suffering wife.
Public Read Wishes
Intellectual honesty is the quality that the public in free countries always has expected of historians; much more than that it does not expect, nor often get.
Expect Countries More
Skepticism is an important historical tool. It is the starting point of all revision of hitherto accepted history.
Point Important Starting Point
Every historian with professional standards speaks or writes what he believes to be true.
Writes Be True Professional
So I have cultivated the vast garden of human experience which is history, without troubling myself overmuch about laws, essential first causes, or how it is all coming out.
Troubling Vast Overmuch
The same contingencies of time and space that force a statesman or soldier to make decisions, impel the historian, though with less urgency, to make up his mind.
Force Make Up His
Too rigid specialization is almost as bad for a historian's mind, and for his ultimate reputation, as too early an indulgence in broad generalization and synthesis.
Yet enthusiasm is no excuse for the historian going off balance. He should remind the reader that outcomes were neither inevitable nor foreordained, but subject to a thousand changes and chances.
Subject Off Chances