Views January 1996 Whig History and Lost Causes By Jeremy Black It is totally misleading to present history as if its course was inevitable. The past cannot be understood if the elements of chance and contingency are ignored. To assume that what happened was bound to happen—the teleological interpretation of history—takes away the options facing individuals, groups, and governments in the past. To read the full article, please sign in or create a free account to view Chronicles content for 30 days. Jeremy Black Jeremy Black is author of World War Two: A Military History (New York, 2004) and Altered States: America Since the Sixties (London, 2006).