reality gets a standing eight count

Today hasn’t been a good day for reality. It’s on the ropes. It’s having its head bashed in. (The following is an excerpt from the American Constitution Society’s blog.)

Regnery Publishing has a bestseller in Thomas E. Woods’ “Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.”

Regnery was the publisher of Michelle Malkin’s “In Defense of Internment,” which, you’ll recall, was an effort to demonstrate that everything most people know about one tragic episode in American
history–the Japanese American internment–is leftist garbage.

Well, Woods’ book is like Malkin’s, except that its thesis is that everything most people know about all of American history is leftist garbage.

No small task, eh? And Dr. Woods does it in just 246 pages. With wide margins, no less!

I have read the book, which I think Jeffrey A. Tucker summarizes pretty well in his fawning “review” of the book:

“[Woods] shows that the Constitution was never understood to be a permanent union, that big government caused the North-South conflict, that Alexander Hamilton’s friends were racketeers, that the US didn’t have to enter WW I, that Hoover was a big government conservative, that FDR made the Depression worse, that there really were Communists in government, that FDR made WW II inevitable, that the Marshall Plan was a flop, that the Civil Rights movement increased social conflict and made everyone worse off, that unions made workers poorer, that the 80s weren’t really the decade of greed, that Clinton’s wars were aggressive and avoidable, and that his personal issues were a major distraction from the real problems of the 1990s.”

Well, now that I think of it, this summary actually does omit a few things–the kindliness and magnanimity of Puritan settlers toward American Indians, the true conservatism of the American Revolution, the lawfulness of Southern secession, the North’s responsibility for the post-Civil-War “black codes” in the South, the illegality of the 14th Amendment, the fact that the provisions of the Bill of Rights don’t actually apply to the states, and some other stuff. Lots of other stuff, actually. The book basically stitches together every moment in American history that might conceivably be given a free-market, states’-rights spin and any piece of scholarship that might be used (or misused) to support it, adds to it more than a sprinkling of Democrat-hero-bashing, and seasons the mix with a defense of the white majority against suspicions of racial cruelty or oppression…

University of North Carolina School of Law professor Eric L. Muller, the author of this article, goes on from there, and the picture he paints gets darker and scarier as you make your way though it. Thomas Woods, the man behind the book, you see, is a member of a group called The League of the South, that prides itself in being white, Christian, and separatist in nature. Among other things, this group urges their members to form local shooting clubs, develop “secure” communications channels, and acquaint themselves with the back roads in their areas. And now, it seems, one of their founders is on the New York Times bestseller list, doing his part to change history and influence a generation.

Anyway, I just wanted you to be aware that there were people out there other than Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and the neocons in the White House who were in the process of rewriting American history.

“American history… Enjoy it while you can.”

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  1. Posted February 3, 2005 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    And the Holocaust didn’t happen either….

  2. Ken
    Posted February 3, 2005 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The League of the South is from Alabama. I don’t think people across this great country of our take anything that comes from Alabama too serious. Even people from Georgia make fun of Alabama and we don’t have much on them!

  3. Doug Skinner
    Posted February 3, 2005 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    For another weird rewrite of reality, take a look at Gary Schneider’s essay “Secular Fundamentalism in America,” which equates separation of church and state with Islamo-Fascism:
    It’s scary stuff!

  4. Tony Buttons
    Posted February 3, 2005 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    With all due respect, Ken, I think you’re giving the people outside of Alabama a bit too much credit. First of all, I don’t think that people necessarily know when they buy this book that the thoughts outlined inside are those of a southern white separatist group. Secondly, if it was just the people of Alabama buying this book, it wouldn’t have reached #8 on the NYT bestsellers list. The disturbing truth of the matter is that people are buying this book and that they are being influenced by it. And, it’s part of a trend. (In the past year, Michelle Malkin wrote that the internment of the Japanese in WWII was justified, and Anne Coulter wrote that Senator Joseph McCarthy was an American hero, just to name a few.) The truth is that our perceptions, and those of our children, are being changed my means of marketing.

    Here’s a link to a good review of the Woods’ book from the New York Times.


  5. brett
    Posted February 3, 2005 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    While we’re making a historical revisionist hall of fame, I would suggest adding Lynne Cheney to the very top of the list, as she’s probably the most influential to public policy and history has always been her little ‘pet project’ (I believe she’s also high up in the American Enterprise Institute, with some sort of pseudo-historian title).

    Her most famous books are the recent “America: a Patriotic Primer” (A children’s book of american history – get a copy for Clementine, Mark!) and, although she won’t discuss it anymore, “Sisters” which was a lesbian themed historical romance set in the old west she wrote many years ago.

  6. brett
    Posted February 3, 2005 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    This is a link to the “Sisters” book on Amazon. A highly prized volume, obviously.

  7. Meta
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of rewriting history…… Cantor refuses to admit Reagan raised taxes

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