The power of historical fiction for bad and for good can be immense in shaping consciousness of the past.
I was always very aware of the nature of the place where I was growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi, how that place was shaping my experience of the world. I had to go to the Northeast for graduate school because I felt like I had to get far away from my South, be outside it, to understand it.
As someone who has more than a passing acquaintance with most of the 20th century presidents, I have often thought that their accomplishments have little staying power in shaping popular views of their leadership.
God guides us from within. He does nothing more than that. There is no charm in God shaping us like a potter. We are not earthen wares; we are beings full of consciousness.