“To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.”

Mark Twain, U.S. author and humorist (1835-1910)

Apparently the tendency to impose our standards upon our forefathers is not a new phenomenon.  Every generation seems to think itself the wisest that ever lived, with the right to judge the hearts of those that have gone before.  We love to interpret history in a way that makes us look better than others—seems like Mark Twain is saying that this was happening a hundred years ago too.