„“Let me explain to you,” the Horned One said, “the nature of history.”
“The first thing you need to know is that history happens almost exclusively in the dark... Here is your second lesson: History is that which cannot be prevented... Here is your third and final lesson: History is simply life with all the bits any sane person might care to experience left out.”“

—  Michael Swanwick, Chapter 14, “Dreadnought” (pp. 246-256; extracts from a long narrative passage)
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Michael Swanwick90
American science fiction author 1950

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„What experience and history teach is this — that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.“

—  Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German philosopher 1770 - 1831
Introduction, as translated by H. B. Nisbet (1975) Variant translation: What experience and history teach is this — that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. Pragmatical (didactic) reflections, though in their nature decidedly abstract, are truly and indefeasibly of the Present, and quicken the annals of the dead Past with the life of to-day. Whether, indeed, such reflections are truly interesting and enlivening, depends on the writer's own spirit. Moral reflections must here be specially noticed, the moral teaching expected from history; which latter has not unfrequently been treated with a direct view to the former. It may be allowed that examples of virtue elevate the soul, and are applicable in the moral instruction of children for impressing excellence upon their minds. But the destinies of peoples and states, their interests, relations, and the complicated tissue of their affairs, present quite another field. Rulers, Statesmen, Nations, are wont to be emphatically commended to the teaching which experience offers in history. But what experience and history teach is this, that peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. Each period is involved in such peculiar circumstances, exhibits a condition of things so strictly idiosyncratic, that its conduct must be regulated by considerations connected with itself, and itself alone. Amid the pressure of great events, a general principle gives no help. It is useless to revert to similar circumstances in the Past. The pallid shades of memory struggle in vain with the life and freedom of the Present. Lectures on the History of History Vol 1 p. 6 John Sibree translation (1857), 1914

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„Every day, you have the power to choose our better history — by opening your hearts and minds, by speaking up for what you know is right, by sharing the lessons of Brown versus Board of Education, the lessons you learned right here in Topeka, wherever you go for the rest of your lives.“

—  Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, wife of Barack Obama and former First Lady of the United States 1964
Quoted on Yahoo News!, "First lady tells Kansas students to fight bias" (16 May 2014) http://news.yahoo.com/first-lady-tells-kansas-students-fight-bias-021747701.html

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„That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.“

—  Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays
" A Case of Voluntary Ignorance http://www.christiebooks.com/ChristieBooksWP/2013/11/a-case-of-voluntary-ignorance-by-aldous-huxley/" in Collected Essays (1959)

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„One lesson of Irish history might be that it’s better to tolerate your annoying neighbors rather than bring in people from beyond the seas to help you win your petty domestic disputes.“

—  Steve Sailer American journalist and movie critic 1958
Thinking of England http://takimag.com/article/thinking_of_england_steve_sailer/print#ixzz4A7pKSd3k, Taki's Magazine, March 30, 2016

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„Progress is man’s indifference to the lessons of history.“

—  Len Deighton English writer 1929
An Expensive Place to Die, Jonathan Cape (1967) Ch. 39

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„History some truths contains, which well may serve
For lessons.“

—  Jean De La Fontaine French poet, fabulist and writer. 1621 - 1695
Context: History some truths contains, which well may serve For lessons. In my work you will observe Ev'ry thing speaks — yea e'en the very fish — And what they say, to ev'ry man a dish Serves up; and I of animals make choice That men may get instruction from their voice. Book I (1668), Dedication "To Monseigneur the Dauphin".

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„The lesson of History is rarely learned by the actors themselves.“

—  James A. Garfield American politician, 20th President of the United States (in office in 1881) 1831 - 1881
Letter to Professor Demmon (16 December 1871), in The Life and Public Services of James A. Garfield (1881) by E. E. Brown, p. 424 http://books.google.com/books?id=vCAFAAAAYAAJ