Thursday, 19 September 2013
What Really Happened
Having always loved reading history (particularly with a sceptical eye) I'd always liked the idea of making my millions by writing a book called "What Really Happened" that would be a series of extended essays dissecting widely held views about various historical events and explaining what actually happened without any of the guff we usually get with it.
They say that history is always written by the winners. This isn't always true, because often the losers will still have their say, normally indicating the opposite of what the winners said. Only after enough time has passed and the stories have lost their propagandistic value will the impartial truth begin to emerge.
But sometimes that propagandistic value can last thousands of years and it seems like we might never reach a more enlightened common view on certain events.
Take Sir Francis Drake. The English consider him a hero. The Spanish consider him a pirate. But even in my GCSE history classes 7 years ago we were still taught about him as if he was something to be proud of. Even 417 years after his death we don't get a more balanced view.
Another great example is the Cuban Missile Crisis, which could just as appropriately have been called the Turkish Missile Crisis. Where the big bad Soviets almost caused World War 3 by having the temerity to seek nuclear parity with the Americans.
The fact that Khrushchev agreed to take the missiles about of Cuba on the condition that the Americans took their missiles out of Turkey was something that was brushed under the carpet for decades and not widely known at all. If more people had known that the only reason the Soviets wanted missiles in Cuba pointed at America was because the Americans had missiles in Turkey pointing right at them, they might have questioned how noble America really was in the episode and, God forbid, even have smelt a hint of hypocrisy coming from them.
Unfortunately I'm no where near that ambitious enough to write a full book, but could probably muster the occasional blog post. That sounds much more reasonable.
I thought I'd keep it as Jersey based as possible for now though.
I'll start with a post in the next day or two on this recent rubbish we have been fed about the Royal Mace and Jersey's "loyalty" to the English Crown.