When I was studying history at McGill University in the 1940s, it was still possible to think of history in the manner of Lord Acton’s approach to the editing of the Cambridge Histories: that industrious research would ultimately succeed in compiling all the facts needed to make a definitive universal history. Acton not only had confidence in the ability of the professional historian to know the facts with indisputable clarity, he also confidently subjected those facts to the judgement of a universal moral law.