What is a Historical Crossroads?

From Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens:A Brief History of Humankind:

“This is one of the distinguishing marks of history as an academic discipline—the better you know a particular historical period, the harder it becomes to explain why things happened one way and not another. Those who have only a superficial knowledge of a certain period tend to focus only on the possibility that was eventually realized. They offer a just-so story to explain with hindsight why that outcome was inevitable. Those more deeply informed about the period are much more cognizant of the roads not taken.”

Sometimes, for all our idle speculation, there is no why.

“In fact, the people who knew the period best—those alive at the time—were the most clueless of all.”

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