Perhaps followers of American documentaries are familiar with the popular scheme of “unsolved mysteries”, and the direct translation of the title is “The Unsolved Mystery”. The project has been running successfully since 1987, reaching its 15th season and surpassing 500 episodes. The most popular US stations, such as NBC and CBS, have been changing. In 2017, he went to YouTube, opened his own channel, and moved on to contacts where people can contribute to suggest mysterious events to discuss the project. Then, from the beginning of 2019, Netflix got it, and the first episodes of the new season were shown last July 2020.
This program is like the name of the book we will cover in this article. Let’s talk about a book published in 2000 by Paul Aaron entitled “The Unsolved Mysteries of History”, which was translated into Arabic by the Hindi Foundation in 2015, for which it chose the title “Confusing Historical Mysteries”. This book deals with 25 historical stories, the titles of which are designed in the form of interesting questions that can sometimes seem shocking. For example, we mention:
- Did the Trojan War Really Happen?
- Was Christ crucified?
- Why did the Mayan civilization collapse?
- Who Invented Printing?
- Who wrote Shakespeare’s plays?
- Could the Titanic have been saved?
Paul Aaron is a senior teacher Colonial Williamsburg FoundationIt is a private, non-profit educational institution. He previously worked as a reporter for The Virginia Gazette and as executive editor at Simon & Schuster Publishing and Doubleday Publishing.
Looking at the author’s other books, we can see that he almost specializes in books like this. He entered the world of writing in 1997, beginning his career with a book about the mystery that has shattered American history for the past 500 years. The book seems to have received a good reception, so he followed it up in 2004 with the title “The Unsolved Mysteries of American History” or “The More Confusing Mysteries of American History”.
Historians fix the best informed
History books are generally plagued by two major flaws: the first flaw is the drought, i.e., the lack of any skill in writing or the descriptive system that makes no effort to give the title a vibrant pleasure, at least not yet.
One of the most important things to appreciate in the book “Confused Historical Mysteries” is the interesting and fluid style of writing. We find Paul Aaron capable of writing 240 pages of history books in general, and in some cases even historical novels, if the reading is heavy and difficult to complete, even for experienced readers, let alone the rest of the population, let alone the reader. We quote the following sentence from the book:
The author here is a well-informed man, and there are four chapters in the book about the murders, but the historical stories he tells came out better than the police stories because they are humane and there is a lot of evidence that they are true.
The second flaw in the history books is the slanderous bias towards the historian, and the failure to mention everything that points to its shortcomings. If you go to a library, government, university, or business, or a website that specializes in books, and try to look at a piece of history, often the titles – if not all – are far from neutral because they are admirable or slanderous.
Even those who seek neutrality among historians, any critic can easily hold a red pen and place lines under dozens of ideological words and paragraphs, which the historian calculates as an absolute truth, either because he considers neutral hypocrisy to be a complete distance from the concept of neutrality.
Not only in his role as a historian, his purpose in reporting events honestly is limited, but in the absence of absolute truth, we each see that scene from his point of view. If any book is safe from one flaw, it will not be spared from another, and it will come out lame.
Here is the second aspect of the book “Confused Historical Mysteries” that works as follows: The author tells a familiar story that most people know, or at least have read in them, and this is often the story that is taught in school curricula. Then comes the “but”. We see the other side of this case, which is the discovery of previously undisclosed evidence in the form of an investigation by a scientist or a group of scientists who decided to oppose a theory in practice or by archaeologists and archaeologists who discovered an important discovery or used new technology. Or a book about a conversation with a person who decided to break his silence, or hidden documents and the time to publish them in the open. For those who want to see the original sources, the author was keen to include his sources at the end of each topic.
Winners in writing history?
We find that there are sharp differences in the opinions of people on this topic on various web pages. Some believe the phrase “history was written by conquerors” to be honest and true, while others see it as a clich and far removed from the truth.
But looking at school history books, another in the history series, will confirm the correctness of this sentence. Can we ever see a history textbook that offers different perspectives? Or can you read an Arabic book in the genre of “confusing historical mysteries”?