"There is no such thing as human history. Nothing can be more profoundly, sadly true. The annals of mankind have never been written, never can be written; not would it be within human capacity to read them if they were written. We have a leaf or two from the great book of human fate as it flutters in the stormwinds ever sweeping the earth. We decipher them was best we can with purblind eyes, and endeavor to learn their mystery as we float along to the abyss; but it is all confused babble, hieroglyphics of which the key is lost".Lorthrop Motley, December 1868 - quoted by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in History and National Stupidity.