Wisdom for Independence Day 2005

Saturday, June 25, 2005

All the obvious parallels between Great Britain’s 18th-century war in North America and the United States’ recent experiences in Vietnam and Iraq may suggest that the history of Britain’s quagmire has something to teach us today, but that would probably be wrong. History has no lessons for the future except one: that nothing ever works out as the participants quite intended or expected. In other words, if history teaches anything, it teaches humility.

–Noted American historian Gordon S. Wood, writing about the American Revolution in The New York Review of Books (April 28 issue, emphasis added).

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