On May 18, 1944, George Orwell wrote a letter to a Mr. Willmett in London. In it he expounded upon ideas that he began to put into words some three
years later that became part of the text of his novel called Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell explained to Willmett that "... history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted."
During the previous century, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), observed in his Essay 1 - History: "We are always coming up with the emphatic facts of history in our private experience, and verifying them here. All history becomes subjective; in other words, there is properly no history; only biography."
Henry Ford the automaker, is reported to have said during an interview with the Chicago Tribune on May 25, 1916: "History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today."
While Winston Churchill is continually purported to have said that "history is written by the victors," a verifiable source for that specific quotation remains elusive. Churchill did say that he would write a history of WWII, and this he did in his own redacted style which left out many important details, while skewing the interpretation of the events that he did record in his own favor. So in a sense, that phrase could be applied to Churchill, but then it can also be applied to many others who came out on the winning side of any battle.
Those battered and bruised on the losing side are in no position to erect monuments and effect self-praise for the sacrifices they made during times of conflict. In the case of the British 'Interregnum' (1649-1660), the winners told the losers to forget that there had ever been a republic on the British mainland, or they would suffer the consequences spelled out under a harsh law which the victors had enacted. The losers immediate concern is for the preservation of their own physical lives, and in the main those led into defeat would just as soon forget the reasons why they had engaged in such a futile exercise. There are of course exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking their words are not those which generations to come will remember from their schooldays.
Because the word 'history' has such a subjective meaning in its interpretation, YesterStudies has abandoned both the use of that word, and the traditional style of relaying episodic events from the past. We focus our primary attention upon the lives of individual human beings, rather than upon non-human objects that human beings come into contact with. In short: we are story-tellers who do our very best to avoid tales of make-believe. While we document our findings in order to support our work, we do not present our findings in an academic style. We abide by those strictures elsewhere.