Louis Menand > Quotes > Quotable Quote

Louis Menand

“There is history the way Tolstoy imagined it, as a great, slow-moving weather system in which even tsars and generals are just leaves before the storm. And there is history the way Hollywood imagines it, as a single story line in which the right move by the tsar or the wrong move by the general changes everything. Most of us, deep down, are probably Hollywood people. We like to invent “what if” scenarios--what if x had never happened, what if y had happened instead?--because we like to believe that individual decisions make a difference: that, if not for x, or if only there had been y, history might have plunged forever down a completely different path. Since we are agents, we have an interest in the efficacy of agency.”

Louis Menand
Read more quotes from Louis Menand

Share this quote:
Twitter icon

Friends Who Liked This Quote

To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!

All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote

Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game

Browse By Tag