History was not one of my favorite subjects in school for a number of reasons, but recently, I've been watching more historical documentaries. My general perspective of history is that there are indisputable facts, interpretations or exclusions of those facts and then persuasive narratives around those interpretations or exclusions.
Currently, I'm watching Oliver Stone's Untold Story of the US. There are a lot of mixed reviews and commentary on the perspective of the narrative, but at the very least, it's an interesting and compelling account of the recent history of the US.
Watching this series almost gives me the feeling of listening to one of my great-grandparents give me the context for the familial relationships and being able to link present-day issues with unresolved issues or incidents from the past.
Here are a few of my observations through the first few episodes:
Many of today's international conflicts can be traced back to decisions made through action or inaction decades ago.
The transformation and definition of language propagated in media through popular culture can sustain for generations.
Fear can be harnessed to make large populations of people ignore facts and behave irrationally.
Viewing a long timeline of historical events in a condensed format highlights differences between stated values and beliefs versus actual goals and objectives.