In The Devil’s Disciple, General John Burgoyne, when pressed by Major Swindon’s earnest plea to know how history will record what is taking place, answers: “History, sir, will tell lies as usual.”
George Bernard Shaw, that talented and prolific cynic, enjoyed amusing his readers. He understood the forces that control the narrative of history, that place constraints on the honest learning a nation needs to thrive. He wanted to turn that understanding on its head.
It’s a point well taken in the United States, wherein some parts of the nation, we continue to elevate figures with roots in white supremacy–and loyal to the Confederacy–as heroes. By doing so, we distort our history.