The past has always been the handmaid of authority.

— J. H. Plumb

The most lavish J. H. Plumb quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Whether we like it or not, quantification in history is here to stay for reasons which the quantifiers themselves might not actively approve. We are becoming a numerate society: almost instinctively there seems now to be a greater degree of truth in evidence expressed numerically than in any literary evidence, no matter how shaky the statistical evidence, or acute the observing eye.

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History is now strictly organized, powerfully disciplined, but it possesses only a modest educational value and even less conscious social purpose.