There are no adequate histories and there never can be. A pure biography would be required to replicate the life it wishes to describe. The reader (or audience-individual) would have to be subjected to the physical realities and effects of the subject in real space and time. And we could only trust an audience-individual whom we could divest of personality and experience so that they could fully absorb the lesson that is the life of the subject. And so we make due with substitute actions rendered in words, pictures, sound, and performance. Some of these substitutes, such as written biography, serve the purpose of providing material for discussion. They can prompt or support action, or at least allow a person to a means of explaining themselves. Of course words and explanations, recorded or not, are largely a means of rendering daylight meaningless. We are all wanting sleep. I will return to this point.
Besides art there is politics, which is another form of anxiety. The great virtue of politics is that it makes life into a game, with winners and losers. A person who adopts politics for their artistic model is rewarded with a label. This label is a word that describes the person to others and most importantly to themselves. The person can customize the label to suit temporary or long-term circumstances. It is a handy thing to have a label, as opposed with being unlabeled. The one who is labeled can be confident of friends and small-talk and, as I have mentioned, words and explanations, recorded or not, are largely a means of rendering daylight meaningless. We are all wanting sleep.
This sounds like I am making fun of politics, and I am. But that is not to say that I do not take politics seriously, because I do. I have no choice, which is why I make fun of politics. I must take politics seriously because I care about my life and the lives of others, especially those who are vulnerable to the realities of life, such as proper food, shelter, and understanding. It is because I take people seriously that I take politics seriously, and it is because I take people very, very seriously that I hold politics in perspective.
Held up to the light that is the human race, with all it foibles and splendid accomplishments and potential, politics appears the most useful, or utilitarian, of our pursuits. Politics is, to my way of thinking, a framework of skeletal design on which to hang the skin of our hopes and desires. I am not especially "political" by nature, but I know you won't get anywhere without some sort of structure. Politics cannot explain why we are here or where we are going, but it makes for interesting conversation. And, of course, words and explanations, recorded or not, are largely a means of rendering daylight meaningless. We are all wanting sleep.
Therefore, to the point of what constitutes history, do we mean history in its perfect, meaningful, or practical forms? Let's be clear why we ask the question and what we expect or hope to do with the answer. We can consciously insert ourselves into the conversation how we like, labeled or not. We can operate in groups and/or individuals. We can create work. That work can be perfect, meaningful, or practical. It will be more or less useful to a person or group of persons depending on circumstance. We can comprehend the political, as an option, even as we acknowledge that we function politically, as a rule. The logic is: you can stop or go. I suggest you do both and as often as it is practical to do so.