“The idea that those who actually took part in great events or lived through particular times have superior understanding to those who come later is a deeply held yet wrongheaded one.” This quote from a book by Margaret MacMillan, Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History (Modern Library 2008) at 43 precedes her statements that we do not always remember accurately. Memory is not only selective, it is malleable.
So much of what we know about law departments comes from statements of those who were in a particular law department and part of its particular management initiative. We must always bear in mind that those participants may not have a superior understanding of what happened or be able to tell their tale objectively. Everyone employs rhetoric, pursues an agenda, and sees the world through distorting lenses.