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The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
Almost everything--you know about American history is wrong, because most textbooks and popular history books are written by left-wing academic historians who treat their biases as fact. But fear not, Professor Thomas Woods has written the perfect antidote. This delightful book--funny and inviting, but factually sound-shatters the myths about American history and separates fact from fiction.
This book is not so much politically incorrect as it is contrarian, as well as utterly contemptuous of anything supported by Liberals or "Intellectuals." At every opportunity, Woods quotes government leaders, media sources and "distinguished" academics who have said something that he feels backs up his view. That view is, by and large, classically conservative, with a focus on states' rights and small government. Any flaws in or missteps by politicians become instant basis for rejecting them wholesale (i.e., Lincoln's racial views; the fact that JFK's two major books were ghostwritten), as Woods dredges up accusations both familiar and long-forgotten. The historical coverage is hardly comprehensive, since Woods focuses on telling the "truth" about issues Liberals have allegedly distorted, like the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement. Some ideas that he claims are controversial are anything but: most people know the Civil War was not fought primarily to abolish slavery, and it's no secret that Stalin starved his people. Woods writes with zeal, and speckles his narrative with suggestions for further reading labeled "Books You're Not Supposed to Read" (which are mostly Right-wing revisionist histories) and "PC Today" boxes containing a grab-bag of conservative gripes and assertions (i.e. "It is not true, as most people believe, that the Indians had no conception of land ownership and did not understand what they were doing when they sold their land to the Puritans"). Diehard Republicans may find this book an inspiring corrective to supposedly Liberal-biased history texts, but others will be put off by Woods's cherry-picking approach and supercilious tone.
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December 24, 2004
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