"History is by far our worst-taught subject in high school; I think we’re stupider in thinking about the past than we are, say, in thinking about Shakespeare, or algebra, or other subjects. We historians tend to make everything so nuanced that the idea of truth almost disappears. People in graduate history programs have said things to me like: Why should we privilege one narrative above others with the term “true”? That kind of implies that all narratives are equal—or, at least, that all narratives have some merit, that no narrative has all the merit. But maybe there is such thing as a bedrock of fact. Take the way we talk about the Civil War, for example. A lot of people will say that the war grew out of a pay dispute; many others say it had to do with states’ rights. Well, it’s quite the contrary—the southern states seceded so they could uphold slavery. Sometimes we don’t need nuance."