History likes to relegate the individual to the background, preferring dates, statistics and sweeping theories. This is one of the reasons I studied Archaeology at Durham University; to unearth the individual and give history back to them. Through looking at what they left behind, we step into their minds and truly understand the past.
Parallel Histories does exactly that; it takes the humanity in history and pushes it to the forefront. Differing people, with different motives, ideas, beliefs, and views. It teaches us that disagreements are inevitable, but that does not prevent us from understanding the other, and engaging in civil debate. It is not there to tell you right from wrong, but rather to give you the tools to make that decision for yourself. In doing so, you find the humanity of both sides and that humanity, no matter what position you take in the end, is the one element that you will share with anyone, no matter whether you agree or disagree
By learning, we prevent ourselves from repeating the mistakes of the past, enabling our future to be new and not just a rerun of what has been.