Raw History: Motivation, Scope, and Subject Choice

Photo by Natalia Y / Unsplash

In my experience, what passes for historical education is often one sided (e.g., written by the "victors") or oversimplified (e.g., "no taxation without representation"). A general history education can be adequate for most people, though, if it is broadly and factually based. However, there are those for whom the "adequate" education is not enough. These people want their history to reach a greater depth and breadth; they want to investigate topics beyond one-sided presentations, transcend oversimplifications, and discover new or obscure sources that have been overlooked or suppressed. I call these people enthusiasts. This site has the history enthusiast in mind. History buffs may be familiar with much of the material on this site, but for those whose enthusiasm for history is in its infancy or are too busy to read much, I offer rawhistory.com.

My passion for history coupled with a lot of reading have engendered a motivation to share with enthusiasts some of the most interesting and salient extracts that I have encountered in my studies. By doing so, readers may get the gist of some works that they either haven't heard of or, perhaps, have not had the time to read. Some of the works here excerpted will be obscure or controversial. My hope is that this site will add perspective, depth, and breadth to your knowledge.  

It is not within the scope of this site to to construct or provide complete historical works. It is assumed that the consumer will already have background and context for most of what is herein posted, and will easily be able to incorporate the information into an existing historical schema. It is, then, within the scope of this work to provide relatively short excerpts from various books and authors that seem to be either interesting of their own accord or will help elucidate little known avenues of historical eras.

The subjects that I address are solely those that most interest me. A perusal of the site will show these subjects are heavily tilted to the founding of the United States, the Civil War Era, and the Classical Civilizations; however, I will also offer excerpts of interest from sundry sources that don't fit neatly into the aforementioned categories. As indicated above, my approach is to provide both relatively short quotes and longer excerpts of historical sources without attaching values or interpretations to the material. Explanation will sometimes be necessary, but interpretations and values are for the reader to supply. Also, the site will be continually updated with materials as I read and process them.

Importantly, I have no political agenda. The inclusion of certain authors, even controversial ones and know villains, or unpopular perspectives, like the Copperheads and Confederates, is not an endorsement of their views. As a lover of history, I want to know as much as I can--warts and all. I want a complete view of history . . . as complete as it can be given its voluminous nature. Censorship is anathema to history and often the tool of propagandists. It is largely true that the victors write history, but the vanquished balance it. A study of the Civil War, for example, is not complete without Southern works. Many of the vanquished will show up on this site from those who fought Rome to those who fought the North. I hope readers will find the various excerpts here informative and complementary to their existing knowledge.