Skip to comments.This History Book is Different: It's True - Setting the Record Straight-(American myths & realities)
Posted on 04/27/2005 5:44:56 PM PDT by CHARLITE
My apologies for not bringing a should-be classic, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History," to the attention of our Internet readers in a more timely fashion. What Dr. Thomas Woods does is directly confront many of the falsehoods that are weighing down Americans with boatloads (dwarfing the Mayflower) of junk knowledge.
Frankly, many well-meaning people, including many educators, have been sucked into thinking things "that just ain't so." In fact, I have been divested of quite a number of things in my head. The academic world has miserably failed the public in accepting, teaching, and promoting many "clichés," to put it nicely. The majority of them (polls show) are heavily biased against God, representative government, patriotism, free markets and true family values.
And, speaking of the Mayflower brings us to the subject of the colonial origins of America. Take the Puritans, for example. Weren't they racists toward the Indians? Didn't they steal their lands? Didn't they commit genocide against these Native Americans?
Lets take a few choice quotes from Woods on this topic. Heres his comment on John Eliot (1604-1690), the missionary who learned the Massachusetts Algonquin language, developed a written form of it, and translated the Bible into Algonquin:
"If Eliot and the Puritans had wanted to oppress the Natives, they could have come up with an easier way."
Here are comments on colonist-Indian relations:
"Colonists could and did receive the death penalty for murdering Indians . [one] English settlement in the Connecticut Valley was positively encouraged (authors emphasis) by some tribes in the 1630s, who hoped the English might prove a useful obstacle to the ambitions of the Pequots, a hated tribe that had begun to force its way into the area Each colony negotiated with the Indians, who were all too happy to sell the land--a commodity they enjoyed in great abundance.... The Puritans recognized Indian hunting and fishing rights on lands that the Indians had sold to them (authors emphasis).
Now don't misinterpret Wells. He does affirm that Indian peoples received horrible mistreatment at different times in American history. Still, he wants to set the record straight about the devout Puritans and other early colonists. Theyre far from the Indian bashers theyre made out to be.
After his foray into the early Colonial period, Wells then takes the reader on a tour through American history, to correct the misinformation and disinformation that abounds. He contrasts the American Revolution with the French Revolution (poles apart), looks at the North-South division (Civil War distortions), highlights the realities of the Great Depression and the New Deal (the scoop on FDR), and covers much, much more. He finishes with a look at the Clinton presidency.
In fact, Wells takes the Republicans to task for their response to former President Clintons wrongdoing: As despicable as the presidents philandering was, the GOP leaderships decision to dwell upon various aspects of the presidents character left the impressioneven if unintendedthat his policies were not so objectionable. The author then lays out what he finds were some of the worst examples of bad policies, though largely perceived as positive.
One that really caught my attention was the Balkan situation. Wells suggests that Clinton abused military power, had our government grossly exaggerate atrocities against Albanian Muslims (400,000 claimed, vs. under 2,500 estimated) to justify the action, and ultimately left the region with an uneasy, unstable, and unenforceable peace.
In light of 9/11, an extremely troubling aspect of that war is described by Wells. Moreover, the Clinton administration fanned Islamic extremism in the area, not only by siding with the Muslims against the Serbs, but by even going so far as to help import mujahedin (radical Islamic jihadists) from the Middle Eastsomething that even Clintons chief negotiator, Richard Holbrooke, called a pact with the devil.
That war was just part of the big picture of the questionable (i.e., non-strategic) use of the U.S. military. Wells points out that Clinton dispatched our service men and women 44 times, while the previous nine presidents had only deployed the nations military might eight times over the 45 years prior to 1992.
While Woods deals admirably with a panorama of the all-too-sordid details flowing from the myth monolith (that's only a slight exaggeration), there is the bigger picture to consider. That's the issue of worldview. In other words, why have all these myths come about, and why have they been perpetuated? From what view of the world and life do these cockamamie twists on reality arise?
Mind you, this is not a criticism of Dr. Woods' book; the book accomplishes what it purports to do and does it well. But Christians, in particular, need to take a look at the dominant worldviews of our times -- and educate their children in what they are and the gulf between them and the Biblical worldview.
That calls for what would be an excellent prerequisiteor companion reading--for "The Politically Incorrect Guide." That book is "Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth", by David Noebel.
Dr. Noebel covers the major worldviews today such as Marxism/socialism, cosmic humanism (New Age), atheism and, of course, Christian theism. If readers take on Noebel first and understand the reigning philosophies, then he or she could amply apply that knowledge to understanding the mental motivation for many of the myths about American history.
And lastly, there's the obligatory criticism of the book--reporters always have to find a flaw or two in a book so that we feel like we've done our job. I would respectfully submit that Woods should have added a section on the Scopes "monkey trial."
Many of the myths about the trial arose from the deceptive play, and later, movie versions of Inherit the Wind. One basic myth from the trial is that Darwin's evolution was somehow shown to be superior to an ignorant belief in divine creation. Evolutionists and leftists had been distorting the trial from the summer it took place, onward.
Indeed, as legal scholar Phillip E. Johnson writes in the Regent University Law Review, "(T)he stereotype it promoted helped the Darwinists to capture the power of the law, and they have since used the law to prevent other people from thinking independently. By labeling any fundamental dissent from Darwinism as religion, they are able to ban criticism of the official evolution story from public education far more effectively than the teaching of evolution was banned from the Tennessee schools in the 1920s." So, Woods could have made a fine addition to his book by including the truth about the Scopes trial -- often called "the trial of the century" -- as an additional key item in his chapter "The Misunderstood Twenties."
In sum, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History" is in the must-read category. Whether you're 90 or nine, this book will help you increase the accuracy of your baloney meter. After all, there's certainly more baloney out there than ever before.
In fact, Wells takes the Republicans to task for their response to former Impeached President Clintons wrongdoing: As despicable as the presidents philandering was, the GOP leaderships decision to dwell upon various aspects of the presidents character left the impressioneven if unintendedthat his policies were not so objectionable. The author then lays out what he finds were some of the worst examples of bad policies, though largely perceived as positive.
Thomas Woods bump. He dispels the myths of lincoln, FDR, the robber barons, etc. The book is worth the price if just for the recommended reading list
What's really good about this book is that one could almost use it as a textbook for younger readers as well. Get the myths out of the way before the indoctrination they get in public school
A great book by FReeper LS. Amazon is bundling the book above and this one at a reduced rate!
What a great point you make here. It's exactly what should happen.........but the NEA would surely veto the notion. Wouldn't they? They would filibuster this book out of their classrooms. They'd call a teachers' union strike in protest.
What caught my attention was the mention of the Scopes Trial. The play and movie totally misreresented what happened there. My mother knew Mrs, Scores personally--her husband was later in the oil field. The Darrow team was totally at each others' throats in the end.
spotrep - history
Thanks for the heads up. I had heard about this book. Guess now I have no excuse for not ordering it ASAP.
bumping to read later.
Yep! Before it too late ;o) Too be honest I'm surpeised Woods PIG isn't under attack by dims more than it is.
Have you had a chance to check this puppy out, yet?
Which one? Woods' book? I haven't read it. I've read the reviews. I know he's on the board of a group that, if it isn't a "white supremacist" group, it sure comes close. See Max Boot's review in National Review Online, about two months ago.
Oh good grief. Woods is not on the board of a group that is 'white supremacist'. Woods clearly explains and debunks Max Boot here
Boots review appeared in the online version of the neoconservative Weekly Standard. Mind you, the print version of the Weekly Standard had already reviewed the book favorably.
I wouldn't use National Review to line a bird cage.
I added a link in 16 in response to Max Boot's criticism. The left doesn't need to bother attacking it with the faux right already in on the attack
LOL! Thanks my friend!
Funny, in the link you posted Woods in no way distanced himself from the League of the South, nor denied he was on its board, nor in any way repudiated its overtly racist statements. All he said was, "Yep, he found out about it."
Ive addressed this issue at length in a Feb. 19 entry on the LewRockwell.com blog
I would have expected you would be able to go to Rockwell's site and pull up the information but I'll put the very end of it here for you. But I would recommend giving the whole statement a read to get even more insight
For these and for no other reasons, and in this context, have I had an intermittent membership in the League over the years. I have played no day-to-day role in the organization and I am responsible neither for the comments of any other member nor for the politically incorrect statements I am told can be found on the League's site. With the passage of time the League has begun to emphasize the importance of preserving Anglo-Celtic heritage, a position I am expected to repudiate. As an Armenian and not Anglo-Celtic at all, I nevertheless see no reason to: why should every group except Anglo-Celts be allowed to preserve their culture? (As for the group's "racism," a word that is thrown around at anyone who looks cockeyed at Jesse Jackson, I find it revealing that white supremacist organizations have repeatedly and vocally condemned the League.)
That should be more than enough to satisfy anyone's curiosity.
2) He does not deny, as I understand it, any of Max Boot's specific quotations from him regarding race.
3) To say one is only "intermittently" in the KKK or a Nazi is hardly a ringing endorsement of one's position. To say one is not "responsible" for the comments of the leadership one supports is plain silly.
Well strike one
2) He does not deny, as I understand it, any of Max Boot's specific quotations from him regarding race.
Well strike two. What's he to deny? He states clearly he's Armenian and not Anglo-Celtic in his statement. Also please note this statement
As for the group's "racism," a word that is thrown around at anyone who looks cockeyed at Jesse Jackson, I find it revealing that white supremacist organizations have repeatedly and vocally condemned the League
Heck, Republicans have been considered 'racist' by the mainstream media and the Church of Morris Dees at times. Should we disband the Republican party as well? By your standard we should.
3) To say one is only "intermittently" in the KKK or a Nazi is hardly a ringing endorsement of one's position.
Ah, I see. Being a member at one time of a group that has called for Southern secession at some point in the future and advocating protection of beliefs that don't jell with the multiculturalism of PC is now akin to being a Nazi or a member of the KKK. How quaint. No argument so just get the Nazi/KKK slur in early?
To say one is not "responsible" for the comments of the leadership one supports is plain silly.
Say what?!? I've supported President Bush from time to time. Am I somehow responsible for the idiotic things he's said and done in the past four years on the domestic and foreign fronts?
BTW, since you're now throwing around baseless allegations and opinions, let me just state that I've read your book. I seriously wish I had the two days back it took me to drudge through it, especially as it pertains to the War. If you're so concerned about Dr. Woods and what his NY Times bestseller states, I'd write Amazon immediately so that it will no longer be packaged with your work, as it is now.
Ping to self.
Great post Charlite!
It's pretty easy to say, "I don't agree with many of the views of this organization and will no longer associate with it." But he's chosen not to do so. That is telling.
And if that's your view of "the War" as you call it, you're welcome to your view. And thanks for buying the book. But I won't be buying Woods.
Oh, and not "Director." Sorry, did that from memory. Try "founding member." Just re-reading BOot's comments on this guy shows how nutty this group is. 9/11 was our fault. Hmmm. I thought Ward Churchill was the one saying that.
Oh yes. A group that doesn't believe in interfering with other nation states unless directly attacked, little foreign aid, and no pre-emptive wars. Sounds familiar. Yes, I suppose Adams and Washington would be considered nutty by today's 'conservative' standard
You sound about as conservative as Boot. And I agree with Dr. Woods. Boot represents everything that is wrong with conservatism today.
And I guess I say the same of you. Again, thanks for the book purchase.