"At best it can be a record only of those events that were recorded in a form that has come down to us."From Edwin Fenton's History as Interpretation, this quote perfectly describes history; not only in the classroom but in the world.In the Americas before anything could be tangibly recorded, it was left to the mind of the people to pass down stories, known as an oral history. Due to the fact that we are only human beings and we cannot possibly remember exact details of even the previous week, the exact history of the world is unknown.It is also impossible to known everything about one part of history; no matter where a historian goes, what sources they read, who they interview, they will never come to know the full history.
Maybe everything that has been recorded, but not everything that occurred has been written down.Even then a written history cannot be completely accurate seeing as different people see events in a different way.For example, if a car accident occurred and you interview two witnesses, you will get two different stories.For the most part they will give you the same story, but the small differences make all the difference in the world when it comes to world history. Since "a historian must select from available material," if not all the material on a certain subject or time period is on hand, he cannot possibly get all the information relating to his topic.Even if he did in fact have all the information, he would have to pick and choose what was more important, because as Fenton says, "It would be absurd if he listed in chronological order all the facts he discovered.
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We would be bored to death if we read such a compilation."No student, since most history books are for students, wants to read list after list of dates and facts."A textbook cannot be a record of what has happened in the past.I can only be an interpretation of what happened by the histor.