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ADVICE TO PERSONS ABOUT TO WRITE HISTORY — DON’T.

In the Moral Sciences Prejudice is Dishonesty.

A Historian has to fight against temptations special to his mode of life, temptations from Country, Class, Church, College, Party, Authority of talents, solicitation of friends.

The most respectable of these influences are the most dangerous.

The historian who neglects to root them out is exactly like a juror who votes according to his personal likes or dislikes.

In judging men and things Ethics go before Dogma, Politics or Nationality.

The Ethics of History cannot be denominational.

Judge not according to the orthodox standard of a system religious, philosophical, political, but according as things promote, or fail to promote the delicacy, integrity, and authority of Conscience.

Put conscience above both system and success.

History provides neither compensation for suffering nor penalties for wrong.

John Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902) British historian
Letter to Bp. Mandell Creighton, Postscript (3 Apr 1887)
Added on 4-Feb-14 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
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When the issue is one of Truth and Justice, there can be no differentiating between small problems and great ones. For the general viewpoints on human behaviour are indivisible. People who fail to regard the truth seriously in small matters, cannot be trusted in matters that are great.

[Wenn es sich um Wahrheit und Gerechtigkeit handelt, gibt es nicht die Unterscheidung zwischen kleinen und grossen Problemen. Denn die allgemeinen Gesichtspunkte, die das Handeln der Menschen betreffen, sind unteilbar. Wer es in kleinen Dingen mit der Wahrheit nicht ernst nimmt, dem kann man auch in grossen Dingen nicht vertrauen …]

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“Albert Einstein on Israeli-Arab Relations,” New Outlook (Jul 1957)

Often paraphrased / translated, "Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." See here for more discussion.
Added on 2-Nov-10 | Last updated 27-Oct-15
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It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true.

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) American novelist, dramatist, critic
“French Letters: Theories of the New Novel,” Encounter (Dec 1967)
Added on 4-Feb-10 | Last updated 28-Jan-20
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