The Ifs of History

The Ifs of History

3.2 (5 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


Whether or not we believe that events are consciously ordered before their occurrence, we are compelled to admit the importance of Contingency in human affairs. If we believe in such an orderly and predetermined arrangement, the small circumstance upon which a great event may hinge becomes, in our view, but the instrumentality by means of which the great plan is operated. It by no means sets aside the vital influence of chance to assume that "all chance is but direction which we cannot see." For instance, the believer in special providences regards as clearly providential the flight of the flocks of birds which diverted the course of Columbus from our shores to those of the West Indies; but it is none the less true that this trivial circumstance caused the great navigator to turn his prow. Those who, on the other hand, reject the idea of special providences, and treat history as a sequence of occurrences emerging mechanically from the relations of men with one another, must admit that causes forever contend with causes, and that the nice balance of action and reaction may sometimes be influenced radically by even so small a circumstance as the cackling of the geese of Rome.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 152 x 229 x 6mm | 163g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514732211
  • 9781514732212

Rating details

5 ratings
3.2 out of 5 stars
5 20% (1)
4 20% (1)
3 20% (1)
2 40% (2)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X