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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 5 years ago

Do you think we should or should not use old autobiographies to understand history?

For example reading old autobiographies about the American Rev or Holocaust?

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  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Autobiographies have merit. They often help the student remember that "real people" lived in the past, and sometimes they give the personal view of what it was really like to live through a conflict. At the same times, however, at best they represent ONE PERSON'S viewpoint and experiences, and at times they can even be filtered through years of memories and re-tellings.. Without other sources, we can't generalize that everyone's experience was the same as the diary or letter-writer's, or we'll end up getting an inaccurate view of an era. At the same time, however, we can't sweep individual experiences aside simply because they contradict the "generalized" history that we learned in elementary and high school, or we end up with a very childish, flat view of the past. One of the great things about the study of history is that as we progress, our study often becomes more focused and personalized, and we grow in our realization that, while we may teach children generalities about the past, the experiences of individuals was often quite different.

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  • Elana
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    "Trust but verify".

    Sure, they're great sources of information, but when you find something interesting, verify it with some other source.

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  • gerald
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    by the people for the people not one, Hitler's biography would be biased

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