Let us then admit that there are two histories: the actual series of events that once occurred; and the ideal series that we affirm and hold in memory. The first is absolute and unchanged — it was what it was whatever we do or say about it; the second is relative, always changing in response to the increase or refinement of knowledge. The two series correspond more or less, it is our aim to make the correspondence as exact as possible; but the actual series of events exists for us only in terms of the ideal series which we affirm and hold in memory.

Carl L. Becker (1873-1945) American historian
“Everyman His Own Historian” (1), speech, American Historical Association, Minneapolis (29 Dec 1931)
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Added on 6-Jan-15 | Last updated 6-Jan-15
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