(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Essays, "History," First Series (1841).
Thomas Carlyle similarly wrote, in his journal Jan. 13, 1832, "Biography is the only true history.")
History ... is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
But what experience and history teach is thisthat peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.
(Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher. The Philosophy of History, introduction (1807).)
History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this.... It is not "history" which uses men as a means of achievingas if it were an individual personits own ends. History is nothing but the activity of men in pursuit of their ends.
(Karl Marx (1818-1883), German social philosopher, revolutionary, and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), German philosopher. The Holy Family (1844-1845).)
The history is always the same the product is always different and the history interests more than the product. More, that is, more. Yes. But if the product was not different the history which is the same would not be more interesting.
(Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. "Sentences," How To Write, Plain Edition (1931).)
The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, October 20, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)