The real value of history

I am enjoying an excellent BBC podcast at the moment called “History Extra Podcast”.

There is a tremendously wide range of historical topics covered and the experts who are interviewed about their particular area of expertise are genuine experts.

One thing that strikes me is the degree to which the victor in any conflict gets to tell the story and have his story accepted as the widely accepted version of the truth. But when you dig a little deeper and hear the full story of a specific event or time period you being to appreciate that there may be another side of the story, another narrative which has been buried or downplayed.

I am thinking about the Cuban Missile crisis or the Bombing of Dresden or the use of chemical weapons and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

The Russians had American missiles next door in Turkey for years but there was only a crisis when the Russians have them next door in Cuba.

Hitler was guilty of some appalling war crimes but the bombing of Dresden is almost certainly a war crime too.

Not to mention the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the appalling use of chemical weapons in that conflict. Yet America became a self appointed world policeman and arbiter of right and wrong.

It is a podcast that I would recommend highly.