April 25, 2010

The War over History

Here are excerpts from my new VDARE.com column. It's a long one.
The Texas Board of Education has voted to include in the state’s history textbooks facts more favorable to conservatives. Needless to say, this has provoked condemnations from the national Main Stream Media. That’s because any challenge to the Left’s post-1960s dominion over the past is going to arouse real passion.

OK, I know it’s not clear how many students actually read their history textbooks. But the Texans are showing more enterprise than is common among conservatives. These have fecklessly permitted their ideological enemies to define what gets called history.

Theoretically, history is about learning how the world works so you don't repeat old mistakes. What most people want to know, however, is: Who does society laud? Who is respectable and who is not? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? ...

Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.

And yet, young people do have a finer side—their hunger for heroes—that history books once tried to fulfill rather than exploit. For example, I was galvanized in 1975 when I read Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s tribute in his Oxford History of the American People to Orville and Wilbur Wright:

"Few things in our history are more admirable than the skill, the pluck, the quiet self-confidence, the alertness to reject fixed ideas and to work out new ones, and the absence of pose and publicity, with which these Wright brothers made the dream of ages—man’s conquest of the air—come true."

But the Wright brothers aren’t the kind of heroes we like anymore. In our Age of Oprah, rather than Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering. ...

This Heroes of Suffering fetish is exacerbated in modern history textbooks by the “diversity” imperative.

Take, for example, one US history textbook widely used in high school Advanced Placement courses and in college courses: Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic (McGraw-Hill, Fourth Edition). ... 

The need to include a huge amount of material celebrating each politically organized diversity group has bloated the textbook to 1277 oversized pages. It costs $108.78 on Amazon, and weighs in at a vertebrae-compressing 5.4 pounds. ...

Celebrating diversity just takes a lot of space, so there isn’t room in all 1277 pages to mention…the Wright brothers. ... 

This kind of feminized, multiculturalized social history is boring to young people—especially to boys.

... Of course, leaving out so many annoying white male Heroes of Accomplishment from the textbook doesn’t mean that the historians have managed to dig up comparable diverse Heroes of Accomplishment.

Instead, the space mostly gets filled with Heroes of Suffering.

And who made them suffer?

You get one guess.

At one point, I went looking in this textbook’s index for the Civil War hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, colonel of the XXth Maine Volunteers. By repelling repeated assaults on the crucial Little Round Top hill on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain may have saved the Union. (He’s played by Jeff Daniels in Ron Maxwell’s movies Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.)

I suspect teenage boys might find him, you know, interesting. Maybe?

Well, needless to say, "Chamberlain, Joshua" isn’t in the Nation of Nations’ index. When looking for him, I did find, however:
Chanax, Juan, 1096—1098, 1103, 1124, 1125

Who, exactly, is Chanax and why does he appear on six pages when Chamberlain can’t be squeezed in anywhere?

It turns out Chanax is an illegal immigrant from Guatemala who works in a supermarket in Houston. This hero’s accomplishment is that he brought in 1,000 other illegal aliens from his home village.

The thinking, apparently: featuring an illegal alien so disproportionately will boost the self-esteem of the illegal alien students reading the book—which will then raise their test scores!

But how many are going to read all the way to p. 1096? And how many won’t find it patronizing and depressing that the biggest hero these industrious historians could dig up for their edification and emulation was Chanax?

But the truth is that the Left pays no real attention to illegal immigrants.  Their value is primarily in their colossal numbers—e.g., the 1000 neighbors recruited by Chanax—making them the notional Reserve Army of the Left, justifying whatever changes in America life more elite members of the Left want.

Want a sinecure as a diversity consultant for a textbook company? Nominate yourself as the ethnic representative of Juan Chanax and friends.

They won’t notice.

Maybe you just don’t much like American history: all those Wrights and Chamberlains accomplishing great things get on your nerves. Then rewrite it, in the name of Juan Chanax and company!

It’s not like Juan and his pals down at the supermarket are paying close attention or have a strong, informed opinion on what should go into American history textbooks. You can get away with anything by claiming to be on their side, the side of goodness and the future—the winning side.

 Read the whole thing here.

104 comments:

Whiskey said...

This is possibly the single best column you've ever written and perhaps one of the best ever written online.

Great work Steve.

kudzu bob said...

"This kind of feminized, multiculturalized social history is boring to young people—especially to boys."

Sociologist Steven Goldberg pointed out a long time ago that the more women there are working in a given occupation, the less prestigious it becomes, which in turn causes men to shun it.

In the USSR, women made up a very high percentage of that society's doctors. They became regarded as overpaid nurses, as opposed to the much higher-status, and more masculine, position of surgeon. If a visiting American ever made the mistake of referring to a Soviet surgeon as a doctor, he was hastily set right.

Among black Americans, the job of parent is held in very low esteem, so that predictably enough, black women get stuck with raising the children. The men have better things to do than stick around, it seems.

And disastrously for this country, women have come to predominate the teaching professions. Nowadays, men who opt to become teachers are regarded, not without reason, as likely to be somehow deficient in character or intellect.

The modern American school system is misandrist, and boys instinctively sense this.

Some parents have finally begun to figure this out, as well. One mother I know, herself a college professor, was disturbed to find that her son was getting failing conduct marks from his third grade teacher, despite having done well in the previous two years and being reasonably well-behaved at home.

She arranged a meeting with the teacher which went nowhere. The teacher was unhelpful and hostile.

The mother then met jointly with the teacher and the school principal. At some point the teacher became angry and blurted out, "You son just can't behave himself! He's like all the other little boys!"

The principal turned to the mother and said, "I believe we've heard enough."

The next day her little boy was with a different teacher. Unfortunately, the other teacher was never, so far as I know, fired or disciplined in any way.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Controlling what gets taught as history is so important because so many people, even (or especially) the most educated, never question what they are taught, and they will mouth those platitudes back for the rest of their lives.

Conservatives (especially HDBers) tend not to understand that because, as conservatives, we have already rejected the liberal attitudes taught to us, so we assume that each person comes to his beliefs by thinking for himself, rather than absorbing unquestioned what was taught them.

Beyond that, it's hilarious yet disturbing how much of a fuss was made over such seemingly inoffensive changes. Among the list of MSM complaints was that the list required emphasizing that the US is a republic, not a democracy, not a republic, even though the Constitution itself requires the federal gov't to 'guarantee each state a republican form of government.'

No wonder high school students seldom ride bicycles to school anymore.

My high school, grades 9-12, had over 3,000 students. It did not have a bike rack. Almost no one road his bike to school. That was back in 89-93.

I don't think the weight of the books is the problem - and that will disappear once more textbooks are made available for Kindles and iPads. It's the culture we have that causes every mother to obsess about kidnapping, and that entitles every teenager to a car. Our coming frugality may yet put more kids on bikes.

Since then, it’s largely disappeared from consciousness—especially compared to the war with the Nazis, which presents the more comfortable scenario of white Americans defeating white Europeans.

Hmmmm...do you think if Hitler had targetted Britons or Scandinavians instead of Hollywood's preferred minority that the European War would have received quite as much attention, or that Hollywood would be quite so comfortable demonizing the Third Reich?

Via Hollywood we've learned almost nothing about Imperial Japan's ethnocentric views, yet we know everything about Germany's.

Multiculturalism furnishes enjoyable sinecures for educationalists.

The College of Ethnic Studies at UCSF has 47 full-time professors. The Department of Engineering has a mere 26, and the Department of Computer Science only 9. We're talking about a state university a stone's throw from Silicon Valley. Of course since the Valley now gets most of it's techies from abroad it probably doesn't matter.

Cut away, governator.

OneSTDV said...

I came across one of the most popular history textbooks last summer which I write about here:

Who Are the Most Important Americans According to History textbooks: Not White Males

mnuez said...

Nice article.

Personally, I think "Tubmania" was a watershed piece. When I read it I assumed you were exaggerating some so I actually tried it on a bunch of High Schoolers and was astounded by how accurate it was.

It's Harriet Tubman, MLK, Susan B. Anthony, a bunch of rock band losers - and maybe an Edison thrown in.

Anyhow, now that I know how true this is (and believe me the Tubmania piece really had my attention for a while as I continued to prod the human elements I'd come across) more evidence of all this is just depressing. I wish there was a way to rise up and take the educational system back but I don't see it happening in any sort of healthy way.

I can imagine an angry and violent takeover by the deranged right (you know, the guys who hate all the Jews and think the government is a serious entity made up of serious people who are gunning for them, who know nothing about economics other than the fact that a conspiracy is keeping America from returning to the "gold standard"...) but I can't see a calm, firm, wise and patriarchal community standing firm and confidently retaking the educational system.

We all know that there were faults with the pre-radicals as well. They were perhaps a bit TOO heroic in their perspectives (at least from the standpoint of truth) and tended to be TOO certain as to rights and wrongs (say, loyalists vs. patriots) so if I thought that a community of Charles Murrays were about to retake academia I'd be pleased that the past 20 years of radical education made true reform possible.

But I fear that either we're stuck with the multikulters till the end or (with regard to adult culture at least) we face the angry fascist backlash.

Anyhow Steve, thanks for the article and can I ask you to reprint Tubmania? I think that any new readers you have since then would be interested in trying the experiment for themselves and reporting their findings in the comments.

Mitch said...

You might want to check and see how often that book is used. I teach an AP/SAT US History prep class for an "SAT Academy", aka a whole bunch of Koreans, Chinese, and Indians. Out of 30 students a year, no more than 6 have gotten below 600 in all that time. I have also tutored another 30-40 students privately, and taught a few at Kaplan over 6 years.

In the Bay Area, the book I see used constantly is American Pageant, which is one of the books attacked in Lies My Teacher Told Me--something I consider a mark of its legitimacy. American Pageant is really a very solid and entertaining history book. Coincidentally, I was just reviewing the war in the Pacific with one of my private students yesterday, and we were both impressed with how interesting the book managed to be with just seven or eight paragraphs.

I've occasionally run into other texts, all of which use the "white people suck" approach. However Pageant dominates in this area, in both the South Bay and East Bay, from everything I've seen. If it dominates everywhere, then APUSH is in better shape than it appears from your column.

I wonder if that's something that can be ascertained? How often a book is used?

As far as Texas goes, good for them. I don't see why the fuss.

fafafasdfsa said...

What we need is a hip online counter-history for students and young people. Keep it breezy and cool so as to attract a lot of young people who are bored with school history. If word gets around, students might learn something.

This counter-history site would tackle the most widely used history books and expose all the lies and add stuff not mentioned by school text books.

Before the age of the internet, we had NO power. But we can gain access to kids through youtube, blogs, and other sites. I'll bet kids do more reading on the net than through books anyway.

At any rate, most kids are dumb and read just enough to pass exams. To really make a difference, we need to target the smart kids who later become intellectuals, journalists, and rich patrons; so, counter-history has to be pretty intelligent than presented in the dumb Glenn Beck style.

Anonymous said...

At one point, I went looking in this textbook’s index for the Civil War hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, colonel of the XXth Maine Volunteers. By repelling repeated assaults on the crucial Little Round Top hill on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain may have saved the Union.

Saved the "Union" [whatever the Hell that's supposed to be], and, in the process, drove a stake right through the heart of the Constitution.

C'mon, this is supposed to be a Paleo board - what's with all the historical revisionism?

fasdfasdfasdf said...

History books will never please everyone. Even so, we have it easier than other countries whose history goes back 1000s of yrs. I mean Chinese history must cover A LOT of ground. On the other hand, US created more history in 250 yrs than most nations did in 2500 yrs.

I don't mind history books including more stuff and telling stories previously untold. Indeed, more the better is my position. Besides, history should be about the people, not only about GREAT MEN--as past history books were. Though most people as individuals didn't accomplish much in life, they are still interesting as A PEOPLE. The Indians on the 'trail of tears' didn't become great scientists, doctors, or artists, but their story is compelling. It has elements of tragedy and struggle.

And suffering as a theme in history is compelling since suffering has been the central to the human condition through the ages. Indeed, the core idea of human progress has been to increase freedom and wealth and decrease suffering and oppression. So, it's not a bad thing that suffering has become a big part of the national narrative. Indeed, the very republic was founded on the concept of suffering--colonialists at the hands of the British. And if we go back further, there's whole narrative of people leaving Britain and other parts of Europe to escape religious persecution or economic hardship. The story of Irish-American immigration and power in the US cannot be told apart from the history and tragedy of Irish suffering.

Of course, suffering is not limited to one group, and most peoples or groups emphasize their own suffering while neglecting the suffering of others. Jews emphasize the Holocaust but say little about communist horrors--not least because they had a big part in it. Blacks holler about their own suffering but don't give a shit about what they did to Asian-Indians in Uganda or whites in Zimbabwe. White nationalists rant about the murder of Eugene Terreblanche but were silent about the injustices of apartheid. In truth, suffering was never limited to one people, and it's wrong to say one people always made others suffer while another people always suffered at the hands of others.

Victimizing and victimization have been story of all peoples. If some peoples did more victimizing than others, it was not because they were worse but because they gained more power. I must say the PC ideology of suffering is suspect because it simplifies history into victim groups and oppressor groups. Also, PC treats white evil as worse than non-white evil, and non-white victims--IF victimized by whites--to be the most tragic of victims.

fadfasdfasdf said...

The biggest ridiculousness in history books is the number of pgs devoted to McCarthyism. It generally gets more pgs than the imprisonment--internment is a bullshit euphemism--of Japanese Americans. Think: Japanese-Americans were racially targeted as a population, de facto dispossessed, and herded into prison camps. Of course, the conditions were not like those of gulags or Nazi camps, but it was pretty bad stuff. If we took 150,000 Irish or Jewish Americans and herded them into camps, would we call it 'internment'? No, even if the conditions are okay, it's still IMPRISONMENT.

Now, what happened during McCarthyism? Some government workers, Hollywood writers and directors, folks singers, and the like got blacklisted for a few yrs. The Red Scare went too far, McCarthy was a boor, and there was violation of civil liberties, BUT it was nothing like the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans. And, indeed there were lots of commies and commie sympathizers in the US--whereas there weren't many Japanese-Americans who posed a threat during WWII--even the 'paranoid' J Edgar Hoover told FDR that it wouldn't be necessary to imprison the Japanese.
Though a disproportionate number of leftist agents were Jewish, Jews were not targeted as a people, were not dispossessed, were not thrown into prison camps. No, some Jews and other radicals got blacklisted for a few yrs--just like some America Firsters and fascist sympathizers got blacklisted during WWII. But, school textbooks, PBS, and other news organizations have turned this minor breach of civil liberties into one of the greatest evils of the 20th century. They speak of 'lives being DESTROYED'. They never use terms like 'DESTROYED' when it comes to Japanese-Americans, German-Americans who were hounded during WWI, or guys like Jimmy the Greek who got fired and blacklisted from TV because he said the fact: blacks are stronger and tougher athletes.
No, only those pursued by McCarthy and Huac had their lives DESTROYED. This is purely Judeo-centric since it just so happened that Jews took special & personal umbrage at the fact that American society for a time stood up to communism and sought to root out commie agents and their sympathizers--many of whom were Jews.

stari_momak said...

Agree with whiskey -- Steve resisted the temptation (and his unfortunate tendency) to throw every idea he's ever had into the column. Instead a focussed, empirically-based exposition. Please take this as constructive criticism from a fan.

Do I dare ask, was the Bataan death march covered at all? If so, what was the ratio of Bataan to 'Manzanar' paragraphs?

stari_momak said...

UCSF and ethnic studies ...

Uhh, as I understand it UCSF is strictly a professional school for health sciences. Maybe you are referring to USF, a catholic university in 'the City'.

Christian said...

Fantastic article. Old stock Americans were a MAGNIFICENT people, and that fact isn't going away.

Captain Jack, I think you mean SF State.

adfadfafd said...

Even before the rise of PC, history books left a lot of stuff out that many people would have found important. I took US history class in 1984 in my junior yr in highschool, and the book was, I thought, reasonably patriotic and centrist--it would be considered conservative today. This was before PC and all that, but even so, I felt so much had been left out. Back then, I was mad about rock music and thought it unjust for the book to mention Presley but not Chuck Berry. The Beatles but not the Stones and Who--who had a great impact on American music. Indeed, as important as popular music has been in the 20th century, there were just a few sections on Jazz and etc. And if I recall, it didn't have much on cinema either though it is only the most important artform of the 20th century. There was some mention of Citizen Kane and John Ford, but no mention of Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and etc.
Depending on one's profession or expertise, everyone can complain that certain great figures go unmentioned. Heck, even a book solely devoted to American Jews fails to mention many important Jews in medicine, music, film, etc. There are just too many.
Even today, the bulk of history is devoted to politics and government and major events like the Civil War, WWII, and etc.

Also, though there are 50 states in America, events and people in some states get far more coverage than others. I doubt if most history books have much on Idaho, Montana, or Oregon. There's lots of stuff about the South--slavery, civil war, and civil rights movement--, NY, California, etc.

I think part of the reason why Tubman and King are more memorable to students is because of the simple moral narratives around them. Somehow, people fighting for FREEDOM and JUSTICE are more compelling than someone who built a new gadget or came up with new medicine.

Freedom and justice sound more like the stuff of heroism than do lab work and innovation. Even today, kids look up to rock stars and athletes but don't care much about who's developing the new medicines and new computers. Even computer-makers advertise their products through sports, movie, and music celebrities. We almost never see the faces of the actual people involved in Research and Development. For most people, sports and popular culture are more dynamic, heroic, and thrilling than geeky lab work or dealings in business. People want and remember simple narratives about GOOD vs BAD.

fafadfadfa said...

I disagree with Steve that Mexican-American or Mexican history is not interesting. All histories are interesting if you take a close look. Also, history can be interesting even if it doesn't produce GREAT MEN as long there are great events. Take China under Mao. It didn't produce great artists, scientists, intellectuals, authors, doctors, etc, but China from 1949 to 1976 was fascinating with all the madness, upheavals, violence, and tension.
If one takes a close look at Mexican/American history, there is bound to be a lot of interesting material. To be sure, a comprehensive history book cannot take a close look and needs to focus on big events and larger-than-life individuals, and Steve is right to point out there hasn't been too many of such kind among Mexican-Americans.
But if we consider Mexican-American history in relation to Mexican history--rife with many upheavals and big events--, it becomes more interesting.

And when it comes to the history of Mexican-Americans in the past 30 yrs, it is very compelling--even if for mostly wrong reasons(such as illegal immigration, drug trade, cheap labor, Mexifornization, etc). Big big things and changes have been occuring with huge repercussions on the future of America. That is indeed the stuff of history(still in the making).

adfafsdfas said...

Let's make a list of GREAT MEN--of whatever race or sex--often ignored by American History Textbooks.

Stanley Kubrick
Sam Peckinpah
Robert Altman
Hal Ashby
Sidney Lumet
Martin Scorsese
Elia Kazan

Steve Sailer said...

The fall of Bataan to the Japanese is mentioned. The subsequent Bataan Death March is not mentioned.

robert61 said...

The wording of the survey in the Tubmania piece skews answers towards Idiocracy. Students are asked to identify the most "famous" Americans - not the most important, virtuous, etc. Most students probably interpret "famous" as a sort of general positive judgment. A smart student trying to answer the question accurately ends up leaning on his understanding of pop culture. However significant you think Harriet Tubman was - she's in, because she's famous. And so the PC cat swallows its tail.

Anonymous said...

Think: Japanese-Americans were racially targeted as a population, de facto dispossessed, and herded into prison camps. Of course, the conditions were not like those of gulags or Nazi camps, but it was pretty bad stuff.

This is pure BS. Japanese were not "racially" targeted because Japanese are not a race. If Chinese Americans had been rounded up at the same time, you'd have a case. The conditions in the camps were good: they had baseball fields, beauty parlors, even Kabuki theaters.

Tscottme said...

Radio host Dennis Prager tells of a common soviet-era aphorism that applies to leftist-dominated institutions and societies. "The future is certain, it's the past that is always in conflict."

Ever notice how the Left claims they aren't ruining the reputation of key founding fathers or important figures in American history or Western Civ, they claim to just be setting the record straight. It's absoluttely vital if you only know one thing about Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, that one thing must be that they owned slaves. Ever notice how they never turn their deconstruction skills on the truth of any of their heroes?

Anonymous said...


One mother I know, herself a college professor, was disturbed to find that her son was getting failing conduct marks from his third grade teacher, despite having done well in the previous two years and being reasonably well-behaved at home.


Welcome to the real world. Women who have sons have interests that conflict with women who only have daughters.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

"fadfasdfasdf said...

Think: Japanese-Americans were racially targeted as a population, de facto dispossessed, and herded into prison camps. Of course, the conditions were not like those of gulags or Nazi camps, but it was pretty bad stuff.""

It was common to intern enemy aliens during wartime. The japanese interned well over 100,000 civilians during the war, usually in poor conditions (far worse than were found in internment camps in the U.S.) And as for the Nisei who were imprisoned, they were "citizens" only by virture of a flawed interperetation of the 14th amendment - an interpretation that most Americans reject.

I'm fed-up with hearing about Manzanar. F**k em'.

Anonymous said...

Homeschool.

Drawbacks said...

Ron Maxwell did his best to make Chamberlain uninteresting, at least in Gods and Generals - I'm told Gettysburg was quite good.

ASDF said...

fasdfasdfasdf:

No wonder people make fun of American education. Who cares if the Chinese have 1000 years? We have 3500 or so in the west that we need to learn about. For Americans to stop learning history at the 250 year mark is appalling.

John Craig said...

Steve, phenomenal article. Entertaining, funny, readable, and a comprehensive education for the uninformed. "Heroes of suffering" vs. "heroes of accomplishment" should enter the lexicon.

Steve Sailer said...

"'Heroes of suffering' vs. 'heroes of accomplishment' should enter the lexicon."

Thanks.

Those are Greg Cochran's pair of terms, as is the Eisenhower v. McCain comparison.

Ghost of the Holodomor said...

Hmmmm...do you think if Hitler had targetted Britons or Scandinavians instead of Hollywood's preferred minority that the European War would have received quite as much attention, or that Hollywood would be quite so comfortable demonizing the Third Reich?

Gee, I wonder...

Dalrock said...

I agree with Whiskey. Outstanding column!

Regarding the issue of Japanese internment during WWII. How many are aware that FDR was advised against this by his FBI director? Yup, that famous bleeding heart civil libertarian J. Edgar Hoover didn't feel it was warranted.

The left's favorite president interned the Japanese against the advice of the left's favorite right wing bogeyman. Yet somehow it is always the left beating the right over the head with WW II internment. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

"Welcome to the real world. Women who have sons have interests that conflict with women who only have daughters."


Ding, ding, ding.

We have a winner.

Mothers of boys want them to grow up to be real men not girly men.

Great piece of lit from the Middle Ages, the French "Song of Roland" about expelling the Muslims from France. Perfect for getting middle school boys interested in current politics of immigrant invasion and history and literature of epic poetry.

Anonymous said...

However significant you think Harriet Tubman was - she's in, because she's famous.


And she's famous because she is "in" - mentioned repeatedly in the history books, for some PC reason.

Anonymous said...

This is where those on the right who scoff at the idea of a culture war (and there are a lot of them) completely lose the plot. The culture war determines what the American people think. The same young Americans whose knowledge of American history revolves around Tubman are also having their notions of freedom and economics shaped by the left.

Dutch Boy said...

My son's elementary school history texts were dominated by West African kingdoms and "Native Americans" from grades 1-4. In 5th grade they got around to American history per se.
And yes, UCSF is a medical profession grad school (my beloved alma mater!).

Anonymous said...

This is the sixth edition of the history text, Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic, actually references volume 2 (since 1865).

There are two used on Amazon from $125.

Previous editions, as well as volume 1 (history to 1860s), are much cheaper

Paul Mendez said...

As to why today's students are so conformist and respectful of the opinions of their teachers, check out:

"Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069" by Neil Howe & William Strauss. (c)1992

They predicted this generation of goody-two-shoe young people who idolize their Baby Boomer elders.

(they also predicted a major social upheaval along the lines of the Civil War between 2005 and 2025)

Anonymous said...

Steve,
What's the ISBN of your book?

I'm the anon who mentioned "sixth edition" - now I see I was wrong.

There are many, many editions and variations of this book; there's even a Texas edition.

PS: Steve = You should do textbook consulting.
Excellent article! You have a great writing style - sometimes reminds me of Joe Sobran.

AllanF said...

I realize it's absolutely not the same, but at least we have the History Channel.

Actually, I find the History Channel interesting in that in the free marketplace of ideas, as opposed to the centrally planned and controlled academia, it, like "conservative" talk radio and Fox News, does quite well.

I remember when asked by one of my high school history teachers "how I knew all this stuff" answering with a bit of a smart-ass "everything I've learned, I've learned from TV." And that was 20 years ago. Of course, you won't get any A's for knowing History Channel history.

icr said...

The biggest ridiculousness in history books is the number of pgs devoted to McCarthyism

The long train of FEDGOV abuses visited upon a single anti-leftist family (the Weavers) before, during and after the Siege at Ruby Ridge, was worse than all the combined by comparison rather petty injustices suffered by Reds and fellow-travelers during the Second Red Scare.

If you don't believe me, just read this brief MSM account of what transpired:
http://www.slate.com/id/2082028

Anonymous said...

CSPAN has a weekend program called Book TV. This weekend was from LA during the LATIMES book festival at UCLA. Half of the seminars were about immigration. ps ..... The LATimes is pro-mass illegal immigration.

When the camera panned the crowd during the seminars, I looked for Steve in the audience, didn't see him.

However, on another CSPAN network (CSPAN-3 ?) the network runs the same three or four subjects on a reel every weekend. These subjects are the plight of Japanese-Americans during WW2 in internment camps, Auschwitz, and astronauts telling their tales about previous space missions.

The first 2 can be placed into The History of Suffering. The Astronaut tales are placed in my personal History of Insufferably Boring Stories.

Some hypothetical questions, If the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army were to have succesully invaded the western United States in 1942, would the Nisei have been treated preferentially by the Japanese military?

Would some of these Nisei have been collaborators against America?

They deserved to be interned.

adfasdfasdf said...

Think: Japanese-Americans were racially targeted as a population, de facto dispossessed, and herded into prison camps. Of course, the conditions were not like those of gulags or Nazi camps, but it was pretty bad stuff.

This is pure BS. Japanese were not "racially" targeted because Japanese are not a race. If Chinese Americans had been rounded up at the same time, you'd have a case. The conditions in the camps were good: they had baseball fields, beauty parlors, even Kabuki theaters.


Suppose there are lots of Irish and Germans in China, and the Chinese government rounds up most Germans, disposses them, and puts them into camps. Would you say it's not racial because the Irish were spared? It may be national-racial but it is still racial.

Suppose the Germans in the Chinese camp were treated well.
Suppose they are even allowed to beer gardens and throw polka parties. Would that not make it imprisonment?
Suppose your family were dispossessed and forcibly put into a camp where you guys watch a lot of dvds, play baseball,and have dance parties. Does being allowed to have fun not make it a form of imprisonment?

adfasfsafsd said...

'Heroes of suffering' vs. 'heroes of accomplishment'

They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Often, it is suffering which leads to rebellion, revolution, wars, violence, change, progress, etc. People are generally lazy and passive. Only a sense of victimhood drives them to action. Just look at the rise of the Tea Party movement. Why? Whites are finally feeling like a victim group.

WWII isn't only about a story about accomplishment but of suffering. Why did Americans finally enter the war? Because of Pearl Harbor where US was victimized. Though most of the navy men at Pearl Harbor didn't accomplish any GREAT thing in life, would it be wrong for a history book to cover what they went through?
Sailer says the Bataan March wasn't mentioned, but isn't that a story of suffering?
One of the ways a people seek to define and justify themselves is by invoking suffering. The other way is through power, glory, and victory--which used to be major national themes--, but in our post-imperialist and egalitarian age, we prefer stories of liberation than domination.

US justified the WWII as a good war and US victory as a great victory because we were on the side of the sufferers--French, Chinese, Poles, etc--being crushed by Germany and Japan.
For Russians, WWII is still the Great Patriotic War because Russians endured tremendous amount of suffering to drive out the Nazis. Today, there is a rise in German Suffering Studies--bombing of Dresden, expulsion of Germans in the East, etc--in Germany itself.

All nations and peoples want to triumph and win but they also want to feel morally justified--especially since Christian moral values have become nearly universal(even in non-Western and non-Christian countries). So, the white American Westward expansion was partly justified in terms of suffering: poor helpless decent white folks being attacked by RED SAVAGES, which necessitated the US cavalry to go in and flush out them tribal beasts. The US-Mexican War was justified by the suffering narrative also. The famous cry was REMEMBER THE ALAMO, a great story of heroes of suffering(and martyrdom) if there ever was one. It was a kind of American Masada.
Prior to US going to war with Spain over Cuba, Philippines, etc, the yellow press spread stories--mostly false--of Americans being abused by imperialist spanish thugs. There was also the narrative of noble Cubans and Filippinos being suffering at the hands of the Spanish, thus requiring US intervention... which was revived when we went to take out EVIL Hussein.

The American government justified entry into WWI with stories such as the sinking of Lucy Tania(sic).
And much of our narrative is too about suffering: white victims of affirmative action, white gentile victims of the Jewish media, white male victims of feminism, white victims of black crime, white working class victims of globalizationa nd illegal immigration, etc.

So, all this victim-suffering mania was something that non-whites picked up from whites. Since whites had spoken of decent white women being raped and killed by RED SAVAGES, Indians got smart and started talking of WHITE MONSTERS killing wwonderful Native Americans.

Jews justified the founding of Israel on suffering, especially the Holocaust.
The French Revolution was justified on seeking to end the suffering of the French masses.
The Christians told and retold the story of Jesus's crucifixion over and over. They also told stories of Christians fed to lions by the Romans generation after generation.

This while victim-suffering stuff has surely gotten out of hand. Even when people no longer suffer, they cling to the identity of suffering to justify and expand their power--even when they are making others suffer. Just look at Jews and palestinians.
But, Christians started this. Even after they became the MOST POWERFUL people in the world and came to oppress others, they always justified their actions and power on the cult of suffering of Jesus and Christian saints.

afasfsfasfsd said...

It could be said most Americans are too busy making history to learn it. It's like artists are too busy creating art and leave it to the geeky scholars to remember the history of it.

Those who can't make history teach history.

Disillusioned Sailerite said...

Praising Steven Speilberg produced mini-series and getting "atta-boys" from Whiskey! What's next? Another "David Frum isn't so bad" post?

Steve, the force is not good with you.

fasfasfasf said...

What I wonder is this:

In our digital age, why do we need books, especially a $100 book that's over 1,000 pages?

I believe MORE IS BETTER in history. During the age of books, let's say an average history book was 700 pg long. It had to be very selective in terms of what got included and what didn't.
But, we now have cd-roms and dvds. They can hold 1000s of pages. So, more the better, I say. I say include Sikh-Americans and the Wright Brothers and Bataan Death March and the history of Jazz and Hollywood and Rock and Polish American history and Armenian-American history, etc, etc, etc. All can be fitted on a single disc.

Why hand out books that cost $100 each when a cheap laptops and cds could be handed out to each student? The hell with text books. Just use cd-roms.

For one thing, save the trees. I thought people in education were environmental and stuff. Why are they still using bigass books that require millions of trees to be cut down?

dfafasfasfd said...

I wonder if history is one subject which should come in 'conservative' and 'liberal' versions, which students choosing whichever one.

Unlike math or science, there can never be objectively true history. Even if all the facts are agreed upon, perspective colors the meanings of those facts and 'explain' them differently. So, even if Jews and Palestinians agree on all the details of 1948, Jews will give it a Jewish spin and justification, and Palestinians will do the same.
Of course, there are some people who say creationism ought to be taught, but we all know that is NOT real science.
But, there is no REAL--as in totally objective--history.

So, I'm for schools offering 'liberal' history, 'conservative' history, 'white history', or 'black history'. Let the left-leaning students learn from Howard Zinn's "People's History of America" and let right-leaning students learn from "Patriot's History of the United States".

http://www.amazon.com/Patriots-History-United-States-Columbuss/dp/1595230017

Everybody is happy.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised so many educated and affluent people in Texas are openly conservative. Where I live, conservatism is pretty much a dead letter among the upwardly mobile.

Outland said...

Pretty awful that they left out the Wright Brothers.

Steiner said...

This is outstanding work and needs to be read in places it never will be.

The example of Joshua Chamberlain should be the standard riposte to the Reparations crowd: so how can you justify taxing his (white) descendants to pay off the great-great grandchildren of former slaves? Expect tortuous logic and lots of use of the word “collective”. There’ll be fun moments, too, when many of the putative payees find themselves unable to explain who Chamberlain was.

Lucius Vorenus said...

My brother is a lurker here, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to inform him that just this very morning, his mother & I sat down and watched a DVD of our nephew participating in a Black History Month school pageant, which definitely fell squarely into the category of Tubmania.

That's the bad news - the persistence & the perniciousness & the omnipresence of the propaganda & disinformation campaign.

But the good news is that:

A) They have a very good music teacher, and, given their ages, the kids did an excellent job in performing the old negro spirituals, and

B) The pageant was presented in a local church, and made frequent mention of a certain Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose name has been all but eliminated from the government schools, and

C) Our little nephew stood up and gave a short soliloquy, of [I am told] his own writing, which, within the context of the ambient propaganda and disinformation campaign, was, I thought, encouragingly antinomian.

So maybe not all hope is lost.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

is Claude Shannon in there?

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing would be to give a generic AP US history textbook to someone who had no knowledge of the US or its place in the world, and ask: "Is the US a great nation, and did it accomplish things no other nation has or could have accomplished? And was it a net positive influence on the history of mankind?" I know the correct answer, and I can guarantee it's different from what a person would think after reading it.


I don't have too much of a problem with not mentioning McCluskey or Leslie; if you keep going down that road you should mention Jimmy Thach as the one who revolutionized carrier fighter combat, and the names are getting too esoteric for a general US history course. In fact, that's most of the problem: people are trying to get in what they think is important, and it leads to including 6 lbs. of material no one will ever read. I think the big picture in war is most important - what were the Japanese objectives, why did they try to take Midway, and why did we counterattack in the Solomons? Why go for the Phillipines, and how did we win? What were the odds in these battles, and why are Guadalcanal, Midway, Leyte Gulf and Okinawa held in such high regard?

I have always been disappointed that military history, the basis of so much of the formation of modern society, has been disregarded in favor of social causes or issues. I never learned a thing about war in AP history class. I am not saying this to mean "what I want isn't in the textbooks", but rather that it is odd that one of the defining characteristics of the history mankind (and what sells popular history books) is often systematically eliminated from the classroom.

Excellent article, but I feel like picking a totally inconsequential nit. Actually, Frank Jack Fletcher was in command at Midway, and gave Spruance the tactical command after Yorktown was hit. Fletcher was inappropriately demonized by Morison, and at the time by Admiral King, as a lot of exceptional revisionist naval historians (e.g. John Lundstrom) make clear.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

In the Bay Area, the book I see used constantly is American Pageant, which is one of the books attacked in Lies My Teacher Told Me--something I consider a mark of its legitimacy.

We were using The American Pageant when I took AP USH in '91-92. To make matters worse, my (very liberal) history teacher supplemented it with a book by Richard Hofstadter.

Since Thomas Bailey died in 1983, The American Pageant has been revised by Stanford prof David M Kennedy and Harvard prof Lizabeth Cohen. The Lies My Teacher Told Me author is probably just pissed that they're not completely on board with the Marxist program.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Ever notice how they never turn their deconstruction skills on the truth of any of their heroes?

You must never, never, ever mention that Martin Luther King had communist ties, or was a prolific adulterer.

Uhh, as I understand it UCSF is strictly a professional school for health sciences. Maybe you are referring to USF, a catholic university in 'the City'.

Correction: San Francisco State U

Saved the "Union" [whatever the Hell that's supposed to be], and, in the process, drove a stake right through the heart of the Constitution.

Whatever it was, more than half a million white American men died in the war that freed the slaves. It's said and done, and I'll take credit for it, especially since several of those men were my ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Great column! Thanks - and a wonderful antidote to Loewen's _Lies My Teacher Told Me_.

Anonymous said...

@ Paul Mendez
Excellent book recommendation - "Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069" by Neil Howe & William Strauss.

I also recommend "13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Fail?" by the same authors.
It's about the post baby-boomers: those born 1964-1980-something.

Both are cheap used on Amazon.

James Kabala said...

I think Harriet Tubman actually counts as a hero of accomplishment - after all, she did escape from slavery and assisted others to do the same, and she was not known as a whiny or complaining personality as far as I know. Whether she warrants mention in the limited space of a textbook is a different question.

Eric said...

The fall of Bataan to the Japanese is mentioned. The subsequent Bataan Death March is not mentioned.

Give it a few years. They'll take WW II out altogether, since how can we expect young girls to be interested in that kind of stuff? Hopefully it'll still get mentioned in a footnote in The Ongoing Struggle Against the Patriarchy section. Otherwise there won't be any context for Rosie the Riveter.

Svigor said...

That’s because any challenge to the Left’s post-1960s dominion over the past is going to arouse real passion.

The narrative is leftism. The useful idiots take their leftism from the narrative. "Who? Whom?" is the leftism of the narrative's creators.

Svigor said...

When I was growing up in Los Angeles, where so many veterans of the Pacific settled, the struggle with Japan loomed as a national epic. Since then, it’s largely disappeared from consciousness—especially compared to the war with the Nazis, which presents the more comfortable scenario of white Americans defeating white Europeans.

Fred wants to know what you're smoking, Steve.

BamaGirl said...

I don't really get why all the commentators seem to blame "feminization" for the boring PC that plagues history books. Methinks some are just looking for a universal culprit to blame all social ills on.

Girls don't find "Juan Chaxan" anymore interesting than guys do. Boys are not the sole group that is having the multi-cult nonsense pushed on them. While it is true that girls may prefer learning about figures such as Catherine the Great or Joan of Arc over say John Chamberlain, that doesn't mean girls enjoy the PC focus on "victims" anymore than their male classmates do. Many historical eras/events/concepts have a universal appeal to both sexes. I've never met anyone of either gender who didn't find The Black Plague, The Donner Party, Classical Greece, or The Viking era at least somewhat fascinating...

In addition, it bugs me that many American history books focus extensively the Puritans while virtually ignoring the early Virginia colony. The Virginia colony is typically relegated to a few paragraphs, if that, even though it was there first and somewhat more relevant to the development of the nation. I suspect this has to do with the fact that America being founded on "religious persecution" sounds a lot better than being founded on economic opportunities.

Anonymous said...

BamaGirl says:


While it is true that girls may prefer learning about figures such as Catherine the Great or Joan of Arc over say John Chamberlain,


Ahem, that's Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Even I, a non American, knows that guy's name.

Anonymous said...

Cap'n Jack Aubrey said:


Whatever it was, more than half a million white American men died in the war that freed the slaves. It's said and done, and I'll take credit for it, especially since several of those men were my ancestors.


I am confused. Presumably they died after becoming your ancestors, but while all of my ancestors have now died, and some of them were in WWI (and did not die), it seems that even going back a further 60 years does not increase the odds that several of them would have died in a war after producing offspring.

Anonymous said...

I was in Washington DC recently, and the National Museum of American History would please the Nation of Nations writers.

Still, the Smithsonian is also building the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, which will complement the existing National Museum of African Art.

Even more surprisingly, the National Museum of Natural History (the one with dinosaurs) has an African Cultures exhibit, whose most memorable feature is an anti-apartheid video.

afasfasdf said...

Has Rodney Dangerfield ever been mentioned in history books? Give the man some respect.

BamaGirl said...

"Ahem, that's Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Even I, a non American, knows that guy's name."

Honestly I just think "Chamberlain" so I typed out my post quickly and fudged his first name a little. Doesn't mean I haven't heard of him, so calm down. I also misplaced the x and the n and "Juan Chaxan" but it doesn't detract from the point of my post.

Hebnry Canaday said...

Saki wrote a funny story, “Toys Of Peace,” about a pair of Victorian aunts who tried to wean their young nephew from his toy soldiers by giving him a set of miniature farm animals, farmers and barns. I believe the nephew grew bored quickly and tossed the entire set into a dung heap or something.

Maybe what counts is not the books kids read in school, but how they carry them. In grade school, we all were delighted in first grade when we got our first book bags and lunchboxes, which we carried proudly to school for about four years. Then suddenly, in fifth or sixth grade, no kid would be caught dead with a book bag or lunchbox. Girls clasped books with two arms across their chest. Boys had to carry them under one arm to the side.

Now, boys and girls seem to all carry books in backpacks for some reason. Maybe that’s the problem. Unisex book portage.

Anonymous said...

You, go Bama Girl!

Cicero said...

Look guys, here's the deal. Most History (excuse me, Social Studies) teachers are completely ignorant of their supposed specialty. I met one aspiring teacher who thought the Macedonians of today are the same people who were ruled by Alexander the Great, and she was iffy on what Alexander had accomplished to boot.

Even if you gave them the best teaching materials in the world, they would probably screw things up in most cases. They lack the motivation and knowledge to teach "good and moral" politically correct history approved by our elites, what do you think would happen if you tried to get them to teach a more realistic and factual curriculum? Let's face it, the ideas being taught in today's classroom are intellectually bankrupt, but the problem runs a lot deeper than that.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is a paleo board.

Take that Lincolnolatry over to National Review, or the Weekly Standard, or Commentary.

Anonymous said...

This article is based on the extremely flawed premise that the textbooks influence how history is taught, in Texas or anywhere else. I'm a product of a small-town Texas school, and we only had football coaches teaching history classes. They didn't lecture or discuss anything; we had mimeographed reading assignments and a test at the end of the week, usually graded by other students because the coach couldn't be bothered. "Political correctness" didn't figure into this at all.

-- Karen, who can't make Google Accounts recognize me.

i am become death said...

Whatever it was, more than half a million white American men died in the war that freed the slaves. It's said and done, and I'll take credit for it, especially since several of those men were my ancestors.

I'm reminded of a quote from John Shelton Reed: “Every time I look at Atlanta I see what a quarter million Confederate soldiers died to prevent.”

Do you not see the humor in the notion that this whole Union thing would have worked out if it wasn't for the "lefties"?

Mr. Anon said...

"icr said...

The long train of FEDGOV abuses visited upon a single anti-leftist family (the Weavers) before, during and after the Siege at Ruby Ridge, was worse than all the combined by comparison rather petty injustices suffered by Reds and fellow-travelers during the Second Red Scare."

Quite true. Incidentally, the other night, TCM was showing "Reds". Interpersed with Warren Beatty's hagiographic portrayal of John Reed were interviews with a bunch of withered old commies. I've never wanted to punch an old person in the face before, but I sure did then. The finale showed Beatty, as Reed, dying in filthy bolshevik hospital. I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard.

One Hollywood commie who has long been lionized was Dalton Trumbo - a great screen-writer, but an awful person. During WWII, some people sent him letters praising his novel "Johnny Got His Gun", and he would denounce them to the FBI - for reading a book he wrote. That ought to be in a textbook under the heading "witch-hunt".

FelixM said...

a couple of years ago, I was tutoring a boy who was in year 10

he was given a math assignment, to write about a woman mathematician, her achievements and the barriers she faced

(btw, we had a success. He wrote about Hypatia of Alexandria. Turns out she got her job as professor because her dad ran the Library of Alexandria. And her commentary on Euclid introduced various mistakes)

but, hey, talk about a good way to get the boys offside with math!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the issue of Japanese internment during WWII. How many are aware that FDR was advised against this by his FBI director? Yup, that famous bleeding heart civil libertarian J. Edgar Hoover didn't feel it was warranted.

The left's favorite president interned the Japanese against the advice of the left's favorite right wing bogeyman. Yet somehow it is always the left beating the right over the head with WW II internment. Go figure.


Oh you want more irony? The primary figure in rebuttal of Hoover, advising FDR to intern US citizens without trial? California Governor Earl Warren.

Anonymous said...

Karen, who can't make Google Accounts recognize me.

Its not just me then.

Ive long since given up trying to login.

Lurker, who can't make Google Accounts recognize me.

Anonymous said...

the only thing i want to add is that "adfasfsafsd" bitch-slapped most of you here and i'm not even a liberal, just an open-minded moderate.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know who Juan Chanax is, nor do I care.

However, I do know that the Monitor destroyed the Constitution. Blame it on the South!

Anonymous said...

adfasfsafsd, you are awesome!


Choicy excerpts:

"much of our narrative is too about suffering: white victims of affirmative action, white gentile victims of the Jewish media, white male victims of feminism, white victims of black crime, white working class victims of globalizationa nd illegal immigration, etc."



.....



i must repeat:

adfasfsafsd destroyed YOU (Mr. Steve Sailer and your WHINY aggrieved resentful cohorts)!

Kevin B said...

That was one fine piece of impassioned writing. I'd love to see it published in the New Yorker. Maybe one day.

Don't laugh.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

i must repeat:

adfasfsafsd destroyed YOU (Mr. Steve Sailer and your WHINY aggrieved resentful cohorts)!"


Whoo Boy! Color me destroyed. Why don't you take your suffering and go elsewhere, and wallow in it. We shall not suffer you to linger here.

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is a paleo board.

And paleo ≠ neo-confederate.

Please do not conflate your moonlight-and-magnolias Lost Cause nitwittery with serious conservative analysis and thought. Or allow the latter to be hijacked by the former--it ends up making us all look stupid, ok?

Tom V said...

And much of our narrative is too about suffering: white victims of affirmative action, white gentile victims of the Jewish media, white male victims of feminism, white victims of black crime, white working class victims of globalizationa nd illegal immigration, etc.

You're confusing tribal folklores with policy debates.
The things you mentioned have current and pernicious consequences on the country and indeed the world, not just whites (a group to which I belong, by the way). The harm cannot be avoided and mitigated unless we talk about them.

You're right about the insufferable Christian narrative of suffering, though.

Anonymous said...

History is also about learning to
recognize inevitable mistakes inherent in human nature and in Nature itself. We have evolved
i n s t i t u t e d measures to
mitigate & optimize it all. Conserving those institutions is the nearest thing to a solution Mr. Reality offers. The evolved inherent sense of "us/them" is one of the most basic and the future for our children/ grandchildren/ pivots upon"us" to prevailing over "them". "Them" see the matter the same way from their vantage point. They should. We should. It's not a matter of avoidance. It's a matter of winning. Vince had it right: Winning IS everything.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

it seems that even going back a further 60 years does not increase the odds that several of them would have died in a war after producing offspring.

Ancestors...or relatives. I did mean to type that, really. Gosh, the corrections column grows longer by the minute.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

My son's elementary school history texts were dominated by West African kingdoms and "Native Americans" from grades 1-4.

Did they mention that the bulk of those West African kingdom's foreign exchange was earned by selling slaves?

I studied African history, too, and from at least AD 300-1800 the slave trade was a major source of wealth for every single African kingdom.

Suppose there are lots of Irish and Germans in China, and the Chinese government rounds up most Germans, disposses them, and puts them into camps. Would you say it's not racial because the Irish were spared? It may be national-racial but it is still racial.

Well gee, asfadsads, is there any critical fact you might've left out here? Anything at all? Like, say, a reason for the Chinese to target Germans but not Irishmen? Something about a war, or something?

No? Oh well, then, you must be right.

dfasdfasdf said...

Well gee, asfadsads, is there any critical fact you might've left out here? Anything at all? Like, say, a reason for the Chinese to target Germans but not Irishmen? Something about a war, or something?

No? Oh well, then, you must be right.


Did Japanese-Americans attack America? If my memory serves me right, many volunteered to fight for the US even though their families were imprisoned in camps.
And, why were't German-Americans rounded up and put into camps? Wasn't US at war with Germany too?
And if entire ethnic groups need to be dispossessed and imprisoned for national security, why wasn't this done to mostly leftist Jewish community during the Cold War?

afafsdfsfdsaf said...

My son's elementary school history texts were dominated by West African kingdoms and "Native Americans" from grades 1-4.

If done correctly and without PC, this can be a good thing. It makes sense to teach about primitive cultures to children(with primitive minds). I remember learning about Eskimos when I was a kid, and I understood what the Eskimos were all about. Igloos, hunting, fishing, etc.
Kids like animals, nature, and primitive stuff.

But, higher civilizations cannot be easily understood by youngsters. Try teaching a 3rd grader about Greek philosophy, Chinese history, Renaissance art and science, the development of English law and culture. They won't understand much of it. That stuff needs to be taught to older kids with greater knowledge, understanding, and far superior reading and comprehensive skills.

I'd rather teach little kids about American Indians and older kids about how the US constitution, ideas, and laws came about. Trying to teach 3rd graders about the Federalist papers is a waste of time. But they'll understand and appreciate stuff about primitive Indians making handicraft and bows and arrows. Indeed, much of elementary school art class is kinda like primitivism.

I would also introduce young chillun to folk music from around the world--elemental music close to the soil--and leave the more complicated music--classical especially--for when they are older. Even a young child can understand 'oh susanna' but they're not gonna get Wagner or Brahms.
Same goes for literature. Teach the simple stuff when the kids are young and introduce the deeper richer stuff later.

Even so, it would be nice if young kids were taught not just about primitive Indians and Africans but also about primitive and barbarian Europe. After all, white kids need to be instilled in their own racial and cultural history. A simplified version of Beowulf would be lots of fun to kids.

Aesop's stories are also great for kids. A true classic, both easily digestible for kids and profound for adults.

James Kabala said...

adfasfsafsd does make a good point, however. The line between heroes of accomplishment and heroes of suffering is not always a clear one.

Take two men who are probably the quintessential examples of heroes of old textbooks and new, respectively - Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King. King was frequently imprisoned and of course ended up assassinated, but he certainly accomplished much of what he set out to do. Lee, on the other hand, while a fine general who accomplished many things on the battlefield, ultimately lost. If he had won, doubtless he would be revered even more than actually was, but as it stands, his status as a gallant loser is certainly part of his mystique. So which category does he belong to? (And similar things can be said even on the victorious Northern side - the most famous Union monument is not to Chamberlain or any other triumphant figure, but to the defeated Robert Gould Shaw.)

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

And, why were't German-Americans rounded up and put into camps? Wasn't US at war with Germany too?

German-Americans and German-language newspapers and schools were heavily targeted during WWI. Some towns with German names even changed them. Maybe they weren't interned - there were far too many of them - but the surrounding society effectively put them on notice. Contrast that with today when our politicians rush to declare Islam "the religion of peace" and when anyone who even looks askance at a Muslim is accused of a hate crime.

Say what you will about our forebears, but at least they knew how to win a war.

And if entire ethnic groups need to be dispossessed and imprisoned for national security, why wasn't this done to mostly leftist Jewish community during the Cold War?

And there is the problem with a war fought along ideological rather than nationalist lines. Hoover actually did have several thousand anarchists deported, a disproportionate number of them Jews, including Emma Goldman. That was pre-WW2, of course.

Svigor said...

Not-a-liberal-but-a-moderate:

If conservatives are those who stand athwart history shouting "stop," then liberals (including you) are those who stand athwart the road they've taken shouting "everybody else stop!"

"Who? Whom?"

kudzu bob said...

One Hollywood commie who has long been lionized was Dalton Trumbo - a great screen-writer, but an awful person. During WWII, some people sent him letters praising his novel "Johnny Got His Gun", and he would denounce them to the FBI - for reading a book he wrote. That ought to be in a textbook under the heading "witch-hunt."

Back in the Nineties I briefly dated a cousin of Trumbo's. That turned into a real nightmare.

Maybe the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. Which is sort of the theme of this website, come to think.

Steiner said...

German-Americans were interned during WW2: check out Crystal City, Texas. Since this bit of history does not fit the contemporary narrative template (white bad, color good), it has disappeared down that Ole Memory Hole. Of course, Japanese internment is mentioned at every opportunity.

The fact is, every major combatant in WW2 imprisoned ethnicities likely to impede the war effort.

Anonymous said...

My wife is German-American and her German ancestors were in the USA before the War of Independence. Her mother’s oldest brother was tortured to death by the Japs as a POW. Her father’s oldest brother was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for action during the invasion of Europe. Both had clearly identifiable German names and overwhelming German ancestry.

The idea of rounding up German Americans at the outbreak of WW2 is so stupid it shouldn’t even require a refutation. German Americans were the largest single ethnic group; one that had contributed as much or more than any other in positive ways to the creation of the American Republic as it then existed. Most of America’s leading military officials during the war were German Americans, including Eisenhower, Nimitz and Curtis LeMay.

The Japs were a tiny alien minority, concentrated on the West coast with a small but real number who favored the Jap mother country at the time. Even today, the resentment many Japs feel to the USA stands in stark contrast with the lack of outrage they express regarding the actions of the Jap Imperial regime. The fact that so many Leftists who use the crimes of the Nazi regime to attack European civilization don’t even acknowledge the crimes of the Jap military government should tip everyone off as to the game they are playing.

Anonymous said...

the only thing i want to add is that "adfasfsafsd" bitch-slapped most of you here and i'm not even a liberal, just an open-minded moderate.

When, where did that happen, did that comment get removed?

just an open-minded moderate

A liberal then.

Anonymous said...

Britain certainly interned Germans and Italians during WW2.

Liberals love* to quote Mussolini's son-in-law, Count Ciano who bemoaned in his diary the lack of any 5th column organisation in the British-Italian community.

It was hardly unreasonable for the British to assume that such an entity might exist.

For some reason the Count neglected to pass this information to the British govt. Apparently the British were just supposed to 'know' there were no fascist spies around.

Its a win/win for the left. If the British had spent more time spying on British-Italians before the war(and thus finding no Fascist plotters/spies) that would of course be proof of racism/bigotry etc blah blah

*Used to anyway. Mussolini, Ciano & even Italian involvement in WW2 are well on their way down the memory hole now. Few people in Britain now know that there were Italian bombing raids (albeit small scale) on the UK.

dfasdfsafsdf said...

the only thing i want to add is that "adfasfsafsd" bitch-slapped most of you here and i'm not even a liberal, just an open-minded moderate.

I wasn't trying to bitchslap anyone as I politically agree with these fellers.

adfasdfadsfasf said...

My son's elementary school history texts were dominated by West African kingdoms and "Native Americans" from grades 1-4.

If done correctly and without PC, this can be a good thing. It makes sense to teach about primitive cultures to children(with primitive minds). I remember learning about Eskimos when I was a kid, and I understood what the Eskimos were all about. Igloos, hunting, fishing, etc.
Kids like animals, nature, and primitive stuff.


I might add this was also the case in high school, and good thing too. Freshman yr history was about 'people and cultures', which focused on Asia, Africa, and Arabs. This was back in the early 80s. I think the idea was to teach the simpler and less crucial stuff to students when their minds were intellectually only half-developed.

Sophomore yr history was intro to European history. Only in junior yr did we venture in US history. And Senior yr was for Advanced European history. Save the best and most crucial for last, when kids are mentally more developed.

adfasfsadffd said...

Couldn't one argue that much of Confed history has been victimological as well? I think it was James Baldwin who wrote that Southern whites have a dual identity in America. On the one hand, they are the citizens of the richest and most powerful nation on Earth. On the other hand, they feel as the defeated and victimized nation by them damn yanks.
Much of Southern American narrative has been about authoritarian Lincoln crushing states' rights, Sherman the monster ravaging through Georgia, Yankees raping and plundering, crazy Negroes gaining power and mistreating white folks and ogling white women(Birth of a Nation, truly a great movie), Northern city slicker carpetbeggars robbing and cheating good decent earnest Southern folks, etc.
And just as blacks came to mythologize black thugs, white Southerners loved folk heroes like Jesse James--who was really one murderous sumfabitch.

And it seems like lots of Europeans brought their victim narrative from the Old World. Irish have their thing about Brits-committed-genocide-against-us-during-the-Potato-famine. Polish-Americans have their we-were-stuck-between-monstrous-Russia-and-brutal-Germany narrative.
Blacks probably picked up some of this nobody-knows-the-trouble-I-seen-nobody-knows-but-Jesus from the whites.

Seems to me is that the problem is not sympathy for victims, which is only natural.
The problem is an all-too-easy (collective and eternal) lionization and ennoblement of a people based on their suffering at a particular time and place.

Also, while it's true that 99% of humanity through history was 'victimized' somehow, sometime, or somewhere, they just happened to be unlucky than noble. Jesus chose suffering as a moral principle. Most people did not. Every black slave who was sold to whites from AFrica would have sold other blacks slaves themselves if they'd had the upperhand.

So, YES to sympathy for victims but NO to ennoblement of victims(simply because they were victims). Only saints who willfully and freely chose suffering deserve that honor.

And sympathy only for those who specifically suffered, not for their descendants and ethnic cousins all around the world.
If we go for collective eternal victimhood, Russians be demanding reparations from Mongols.

afasfasfasdf said...

It seems the choice of national heroes matters in relation to the power a certain nation or people(or race) has.

Take the Mongols. Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan were the Hitlers of their day--and successful too. They killed a whole lot of men and raped a whole lot of women. Mongols today revere Genghis as a great national hero, yet we aren't bothered. Partly, it was because Mongol conquests happened long ago, but it's also because Mongols threaten nobody. Mongolian population is something like 2 milliion. Russia is powerful and vast, and China has over 1.3 billion people. So, Russians and Chinese--though terribly victimized by Mongols centuries ago--don't much care if Genghis is revered by stupid Mongols. Indeed, they probably find it kinda funny.

But, non-whites, leftits, and Jews are still worried about the nature of heroism in the Western/white world because whites still have lots of power and could be formidable IF THEY GOT THEIR ACT TOGETHER AND UNITED AS ONE PEOPLE.

So, the politics of heroism and victimhood is crucial for the left, non-whites, and Jews, at least until white power has diminished to the point where whites pose no threat to anyone. If one day, whites become a small and weak minority, non-whites and Jews probably wouldn't mind if whites even revered Hitler. It'd be like today's Mongols revering Genghis. It would have no political impact whatsoever.

Europeans still want US troops in Europe, not because they still fear Russia but they fear the revival of German military power in the absence of US armed forces. Germany, as the richest and most populous Western European nation, would likely become the center of EU defense. Though Germans have been tamed, there is still the fear among many Europeans that Germans might start going crazy again if they were to build up a large military, possibly the most powerful in Europe.

James Kabala said...

Second row of the keyboard man (as I will call you rather than trying to keep up with your changing spellings):

Very true on the South, as I was also saying above. I was saying that on another site the other day - I have great respect for Southern traditionalist conservatives, but they often do play the "the South is more noble because it lost" card. The flaw with this argument (as with similar arguments made by other peoples) is that they tried to win! It is not as if they lost on purpose to prove their nobility.

Anonymous said...

non-whites, lefists, and Jews are still worried about the nature of heroism in the Western/white world because whites still have lots of power and could be formidable IF THEY GOT THEIR ACT TOGETHER AND UNITED AS ONE PEOPLE.

Yeah!

I think their fear underlies a lot of their attitude. They express this not through what we might do but by complaining about past wrongs, real or imagined. These past 'wrongs' are used to punish us now and hold us back.

In 48 Hours Eddie Murphy taunts some stereotypical rednecks, says he's their worst nightmare, "A n****r with a badge and a gun" (words to that effect). For the non-whites thats an inversion of their reality.

Svigor said...

Even today, the resentment many Japs feel to the USA stands in stark contrast with the lack of outrage they express regarding the actions of the Jap Imperial regime. The fact that so many Leftists who use the crimes of the Nazi regime to attack European civilization don’t even acknowledge the crimes of the Jap military government should tip everyone off as to the game they are playing.

*/me quietly slips that arrow into his quiver*

Svigor said...

"just an open-minded moderate"

A liberal then.


Yeah, uhm, maybe we should put up a notice somewhere. *Warning: you are entering the HBD-sphere. If you are a liberal, libertarian, or moderate, we consider you a liberal. If you are a conservative, we consider you liberal until proven innocent.*

But I still think "progressive" is better; cancer's progressive, liberals are progressive...

Californian said...

Now, what happened during McCarthyism? Some government workers, Hollywood writers and directors, folks singers, and the like got blacklisted for a few yrs.

And we might note that there is no liberal criticism of political correctness, despite PC's mass violations of the Constitution: speech codes, diversity indoctrination, witch hunts over "racism," mob violence against conservative speakers, and so forth.