Editor Note, Thetean Journal, Student journal


It was Karl Marx who observed that individuals do indeed make history, but seldom in the circumstances of their own choosing. Indeed, the primary challenge for every aspiring historian is to understand both impersonal forces that frame historical events and the individual actions that define them. Inherent in this quest for understanding is the duty of historians to detach themselves from contemporary influences and understand the past as the past would have understood itself. The historian Richard J. Evans expressed this mandate well: "One of the greatest problems in writing history is to imagine oneself back in the world of the past, with all of the doubts and uncertainties people faced in dealing with a future that for the historian has now become the past."