"For blacks must read history with Indian eyes as well, and cannot fail to note that many of the New England 'fathers' participated not only in the forced migration and decimation of the original inhabitants but gave full strength to that trade in men which brought other dark men to these shores." -- Vincent Harding "Beyond Chaos: Black history and the search for the New Land" (1970) cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 156.
"Our studies can turn into bomb factories. ... We have a responsibility to historical facts in general, and for criticising the politico-ideological abuse of history in particular." Eric Hobsbawm, "The New Threat to History" (1993), cited by Catherine Hall in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 160.
"Fanon has been crucial to our understanding of the internal traumas of identity which are associated with colonisation and enslavement. For colonisation is never only about the external processes and pressures of exploitation. It is always also about the ways in which colonised subjects internally collude with the objectification of the self produced by the coloniser." Catherine Hall, "Histories, Empires and the Post-Colonial Moment" (1996) cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 163.
"Man spends his time devising techniques of which he afterwards remains a more or less willing prisoner." Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft (1944) cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 172.
"There must be a permanent foundation in human nature and in human society, or the very names of man and society become meaningless." Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft (1944) cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 174.
"Perhaps none of those who write so urgently about these problems have a very clear notion of the situation which they are trying to restore. But few of them can have realized how inappropriate it is to think of restoration at all, in the sense of returning to the historical past." -- Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost (1965), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 177.
"History is not inevitably useful. It can bind us or free us. It can destroy compassion by showing us the world through the eyes of the comfortable ('the slaves are happy, just listen to them' - leading to 'the poor are content, just look at them'). It can oppress any resolve to act by mountains of trivia, by diverting us.into intellectual games, by pretentious 'interpretations' which spur contemplation rather than action, by limiting our vision to an endless story of disaster and thus promoting cynical withdrawal, by befogging us with the encyclopedic eclecticism of the standard textbook." -- Howard Zinn, The Politics of History (1970), cited in Tosh, ed. Historians on History, p. 193.