Throughout my study of History, more times than not, history has been compartmentalized or abbreviated so to say. Reviewing all that I have learned in History, looking back at it now, I can only see how many "facts and figures" have been left out of the picture. The textbooks I have read through have only provided mere glances of the periods or times, I was studying, never did it provide in depth details as to what happened. A Perfect example of such that I learned all to well was the Holocaust. Studying in school only provided me with brief excerpts of the history of the holocaust and many of my teachers had proclaimed that "Jews had been killed" in the broadest fashions. It was not until movies like Schindler's List emerged that I quickly came to learn and apprehend the real truth of the Holocaust. The Jews were not just "killed" but they had been murdered in horrific ways and in more than one, but the textbook was not able to teach me that. As I grew up, learning about slavery in school did not provide me with many in depth facts either. When teaching about slavery, teachers truncated many of the facts and events of the "Middle Passage". After reading Mannix and Cowley's "The Middle Passage" I quickly learned to understand how historical writing should be, and aside from many important lessons that I learned, my expectations about writing in American history were totally altered.
In reading the aforementioned passage, I learned many lessons. One of which, I believe the most important to be is the fact that one should always take information he or she reads with a grain of salt. What we as readers of American History must realize is that when studying time periods dating back hundreds of years, we must realize the scarce amount of resources many textbooks had to work with in order to be published. The information granted through these textbooks may be very limited due to the amount of limited resources the publishers were prone to in the making of the text.