Many occurrences - party contests, for example-rouse at the time an excitement quite out of proportion to their real importance, whereas the greatest events, like the summits of high mountains, though dominant from far away, are screened by the foreground from a nearer view. It is a help towards sanity and calm judgment to acquire the habit of seeing contemporary events in their historical setting, and of imagining them as they will appear when they are in the past.
Source: Bertrand Russell,: How to Read and Understanding History, 1943.
Reprinted in: Understanding History and Other Essays, 1957
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