I'm currently reading Breaking Bread with the Dead by Alan Jacobs which deals with a lot of these issues and our presentism arising from dismissing the past as uneducated, unrefined, almost an insult to our current mode of thought.

He advocates a balanced approach whereby we don't forgive the ignorance of the past but try to look at the good in a slightly different context. It's the whole "can we like someone's work while despising the person" argument.

Dismissing something as a product of its time does us a disservice because we do not properly explore why and learn the lessons that teaches.

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