Can History Be Unbiased? Essay

767 Words Aug 13th, 2013 4 Pages
Contrary to a popular belief—one especially among historians and theorists—the lack of objectivity in history books and school textbooks is not hugely problematic. The reason for the previous claim is that, simply, when it comes to historical occurrences, bias and inclinations of perspectives—though can hypothetically be eliminated—are totally inevitable. Historians are human beings, with brains to know, comprehend, and evaluate historical events and consciousnesses to feel and sense the underlying meanings of those events. Similarly, history itself deals with other human beings who had brains to know, comprehend, and evaluate then-occurring events and consciousness to feel and sense the underlying meanings of those events. Therefore, …show more content…
“To say it another way, thinking, however abstract, originates in an embodied subjectivity, at once overdetermined and permeable to contingent events.” – Teresa de Lauretis
From a different angle, politics play a significant role in history writing. For instance, before the Egyptian 25th of January Revolution, history textbooks depicted Hosni Mubarak as the ultimate leader and the perfect example of a president—one which all leaders of the world should imitate and whose era is the most flourishing. Like textbooks of Frances Fitzgerald’s time—which had “the demeanor and trappings of authority” and were “imperturbable” and “humorless” weighty volumes but quite distant from reality—Egyptian history textbooks before the revolution also were replete with information, facts, and wondrous historical stories, yet one could smell a fragrance of propaganda—a mischievous subjectivity. With 60%+ poverty, dramatic rise in unemployment rate, lethal pollution in water, and rapid growth of sexual harassment during Mubarak’s time, the massive glorification of our ex-president then was implausible. Yet, the apparent subjectivity in history textbooks did not succeed to convince all the students with “that specific version” of the country.
The idea that school textbooks are solely responsible to help students create their versions of their countries is false. Students can learn history by reading all there is to read about

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