Bismarck (Classic Reprint)by Charles Grant Robertson
No task is harder for the historian of to-day than to write in a manner worthy of his great calling on any subject even remotely connected with the war. It is close to us at every moment of our lives, our interests are so bound up with it and our affections are so involved in it, that the temptation to interpret every recent event solely
Excerpt from Bismarck
No task is harder for the historian of to-day than to write in a manner worthy of his great calling on any subject even remotely connected with the war. It is close to us at every moment of our lives, our interests are so bound up with it and our affections are so involved in it, that the temptation to interpret every recent event solely according to its supposed influence on the war becomes nearly irresistible. And real disservice may come to the cause which we have at heart from yielding to this temptation; for it leads to the selection of facts to accord with a theory, as opposed to the true historical method of building up the theory on an accumulation of facts. The pamphlet or book with a polemical purpose which results from the former method, however truthful and just, is never wholly convincing except to the man who requires no persuasion, and at best succeeds only in heartening the converted; whereas the true history gradually moulds the opinion of the world.
No subject would be found more adapted for an easy polemic at this time than a life of Bismarck. But this volume is not of that kind. Mr. Grant Robertson justly claims that it is not a mere product of the war, but that it is based on exhaustive study and ideas already formed in the period of calm before this storm burst upon the nations.
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