Frankly, this is a common misconception. I'm working on a masters in history right now and one thing I have learned quite unequivocally is that there is no such thing as a "true" history. All histories are written for a reason, and all are influenced by the biases of the historian. It is not possible to write a history that is simply and completely "true," because no one would ever be able to find and report every, single, relevant fact from every, single, applicable perspective about any historical event.Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon1
Take the American Revolution. The "traditional" histories report on the major battles (Bunker Hill, New York, Yorktown, etc.) and the actions and decisions of the major players (Washington, Howe, etc.). Even just a history like this can run to many volumes. But what about the minor battles? What about the experiences of the private on the lines? What about the experiences of the women back home? Add in these details and you're going to have a history that takes decades to read, let alone write, and you STILL haven't got the whole, "true" story. What about the attitudes and experiences of the slaves? What about the British parliament? What about the British citizens? What about how the war affected the citizens of Canada? Now you've got a history that takes several lifetimes to read, and dozens of times longer to write and yet you still haven't dug out the whole "truth!" And still through all of this, whatever is written will ALWAYS be affected by the biases of the writer.
Of course, in the case of Bellesiles, he is guilty of fabricating data and that is simple fraud. That's a whole different category of lie. The point, though, is that no history is ever just "the truth," plain, complete, and unvarnished. Such a complete and unbiased "true" history has never been written because it cannot be written.