A review of the videotape “America’s Godly Heritage,” by David Barton, distributed by Wall-Builders of Aledo, Texas.
In the comic strip “Sibling Revelry,” two children approach a historical marker that reads, “On this spot a small group of white European males took full credit for an event of historical importance. Although women and non-whites played no part in this event, their significance cannot be overlooked.” One child says, “History’s not what it used to be.” The other replies, “Maybe it never was.”
Telling history is not an objective activity. Rather than offering a simple chronicle of events, the historian seeks to interpret the events for his readers. Indeed, his preconceptions influence to a very large degree his choice of what events will be recognized in the historical narrative. Still, history must be distinguished from fiction. To say that the historian interprets events is not to say that he makes them up. The difference between good history and bad history is the quality of interpretation. In general, the interpretation that explains the greatest number of facts while requiring the fewest qualifications is to be preferred.