To the Editor: On Dec. 18, 1831, a decade before the founding of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (now APA), Samuel Coleridge remarked, "If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and that light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!" (1). Coleridge might equally have remarked on man’s failure to learn from histories of history. This latter misstep is one made in an article by Laura D. Hirshbein, M.D., Ph.D. (2). Although she dissected the APA presidential addresses themselves and cited works by historians, she ignored psychiatrists who, in APA-sponsored works, have provided insight into the very subject she ventured to explicate.