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In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell
In order to save funds to use for other uses the Bad Axe Republican Headquarters has closed. The library for the time being will be located at my residence. You can contact me to arrange a convenient time to get a book(s) or return a book(s).
The library will have a new location by spring 2012. You can contact me at my address below or by phone 989-582-0077 or email: kurtbottke@hotmail .com .
My address is: Kurtis Bottke
Chairman Library Committee
3031 West Kinde Road,
Kinde, Michigan, 48445
Blue: Books Currently Checked Out
Red: New Books Added to the Library in the Past 30 Days
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY
Author: Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.
You think you know American History. But did you know:
The American “revolutionaries” were actually conservatives
The Puritans didn’t steal Indian lands
FDR agreed to send a million Russian POW’s back to Stalin
“Landslide Lyndon” Johnson stole his first Senate race
The War on Poverty made poverty worse
Hundreds of American liberals had secret ties to the Soviets
As an attorney (now retired), a former law professor, and occasional writer on jurisprudential history, I have had many opportunities to study key events and personalities in American history. I have often remarked on how much of what appears, or is emphasized, in history texts and in high school and college classrooms differs from what actually happened. Thomas Woods' Politically Incorrect Guide to American History does a masterful and entertaining job of correcting common misconceptions and filling in some gaps. (It is not a complete American history, nor does Woods claim it is.) Its common pattern, on subject after subject, is: Here are some historical facts that contradict or provide a fuller understanding of what you were probably taught. And that, properly, gives rise to the question: what else in the standard American History mythology might be incorrect or at least a bit shaky?
One technique Woods uses to make his points is to quote the people who were involved in significant historical events. Abraham Lincoln, elected President in 1860, asserted that no state of the United States had the right to secede and in 1861 sent the Union Army into the South to enforce that position. But, speaking in 1848, Lincoln had said: "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right--a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own, of so much territory as they inhabit." (p. 63) Lincoln really said that. The reader is compelled to inquire further into the issue of the individual state's right to secede, given Constitutional history, and into the real causes of the Civil War. Woods helps us understand those issues.
Ulysses S. Grant, Lincoln's top general in the Civil War, and later President, was himself a slaveholder until passage of the 13th Amendment after the war ended. During the war he said: "If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission and offer my sword to the other side." (p. 67) My, my, does Grant's statement make you wonder whether the standard story (that the Civil War was fought by the "good" North against the "evil" South to end slavery) has some serious deficiencies? It should.
During the Civil War, the Northern forces, rejecting centuries long standards of civilized warfare that protected non-combatants, engaged in total war, stealing food and other supplies and destroying homes and farms, all in order to completely subjugate, starve and destroy the will of every southerner. The extent to which they were willing to go is reflected in an Order issued from Northern General Benjamin Butler regarding treatment of the women of New Orleans: "[I]t is ordered that hereafter when any female shall by word, gesture or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation." (p. 72) Officially sanctioned rape as a tool of warfare. Nice.
Another standard myth of American history is that President Franklin Roosevelt rescued us from the depression of the 1930s that had been allowed to worsen by his do-nothing predecessor, Herbert Hoover. The facts are that FDR's incessant meddling in the economy, meddling that took the form of Benito Mussolini's Italian fascism, was largely a continuation of Hoover's meddling. And it was unavailing. The depression lasted until the United States entered World War II. But, wartime did not result in any real improvement in the economy. The government merely conscripted the unemployed into the military and many others into production of war material; all in all about 40% of the population. The consumer economy was largely shut down for the duration. People could not buy cars, or just about anything else made of steel, gasoline, many foods, etc. All such things were needed for the war effort. To the extent that any civilian economy remained, it was tightly regulated with wage and price controls and rationing. The real recovery did not begin until after the war and after FDR's death. (Chapter 11)
Speaking of World War II, did you know that FDR was promising to keep America out of it while he was working behind the scenes to do the opposite? Or, that a majority of Americans, including many prominent ones such as Charles Lindbergh, H.L. Mencken, John F. Kennedy (yes, JFK himself), Frank Lloyd Wright, Herbert Hoover and Gerald Ford, opposed America getting involved in the war right up until the Pearl Harbor bombing? Here's another question: Why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor? Could it possibly have anything to do with FDR's freezing Japanese assets in the U.S. and organizing a boycott of essential goods, particularly oil that Japan needed to import. Japan made a terrible blunder in attacking the U.S., but absent FDR's efforts, it probably would not have happened. Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, wrote in his diary on November 25, 1941, that the question was how "to maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot." Former President Hoover said in 1941 that the administration was "doing everything they can to get us into war through the Japanese back door." (p. 181)
Enough from me. Read the book. As you do, come up with the tough follow-up questions. Professor Woods answers many of them. For those he does not, he suggests additional readings that will benefit you. In the end, there is no way you can come away from the experience without realizing that the standard American History mythology is seriously lacking. Woods has done a terrific job of curing some of that lack. Another reason to read and enjoy the book is that Woods has been attacked from both the "left" and the "right" for daring to put into print these many factual challenges to the standard mythology. It is notable that those doing the attacking don't seem to challenge the facts, but target Woods himself for illuminating them. I hope he does more of it. For what he has done, I thank him.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE SOUTH (AND WHY IT WILL RISE AGAIN)
Author: Clint Johnson
You think you know the South. But did you know:
Why the South is more important to America’s founding than the North
The first of the thirteen colonies to legalize slavery? (Hint: it’s not in the South)
The South is the center of American culture and history
Why faith and family come first in the South
Why limited government and low tax rates are a Southern tradition
Englishman though I may be, I am proud to have made South Carolina my home for 3 months, to have visited Atlanta, Georgia, and to count an Alabamian amongst my very best friends in the world.
As a person whose fondness for American culture is not unknown, the South Eastern United States is home to perhaps the purest and, to me, the fondest form of American culture. Whether this is Country music, Southern food, the Southern way of life, Civil and Revolutionary war history, the South has it all.
Clint Johnson's enjoyable, readable, and highly informative volume lays bare all the cultural items associated with the South, presents Southern history in an unbiased manner, shorn of political correctness, and inclusive of history the PC Brigade like to neglect.
We learn that the Civil War was more about preserving the Union, not ending slavery, that disagreement over tariffs played just as great a role in secession as the moves of the abolitionists, and that Southern Generals and soldiers were not only far superior in an operational capacity, but more generous and gracious in defeat than their Northern brethren.
The role of Southerners in every United States conflict is revealed, whether it is authentic Southerners such as Pershing, McArthur or Marshall, or honorary Southerners such as Eisenhower and Patton. Furthermore, Lee is examined greatly, and is shown to be a man of great honor, moral integrity, and perhaps the Greatest General the United States has ever known.
The defining aspects of Southern culture are examined, such as the importance of faith, family, community and most of all good manners, the Southern traditions of College Football, NASCAR, and hunting, to the wide range of Southern cuisine.
The author writes with a sense of pride, dignity and passion, and the book should be mandatory reading both for the PC brigade, and any lover of American culture. A book that makes me proud to have made my South my home and a book I will forever treasure.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Author: Anthony Esolen
Bet your college professor never told you:
Why “Western civ” is the story of…us
How the “Enlightenment” yielded tyranny and war
How climate change affects culture (hint: warmer is better)
Why Jesus is the most important figure in history
Why the Middle Ages were the real “Age of Reason”
Prof. Anthony Esolen is an English professor at Providence College who wrote a good survey undermining the childish politically correct nonsense re Western Civilization. The book titled THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION (PIGWC) is a good book for the uninitiated as well as for those who are seasoned readers of what constitutes Western Civilization.
When this reviewer first received this book, he thought that was little to learn for those who have studied European History. This book was a pleasant surprise and informative even for those learned in European studies.
Prof. Esolen began this book with a good introduction to the history, political systems, and literature/philosophy of the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans. Esolen gave a good explanation of the political loyalties of the Greek Polis, especially Athens and Sparta, and the Roman Republic. He gave a much needed explanation of the conflict between the Ancient Greeks and the Persians during the Persian Wars (490-479 BC). Esolen intelligently explains the reasons for the Greeks loyalty to the Polis and the Roman loyalty to the Roman Republic and the city of Rome. There is a further explanation for the demise of the Greeks especially the Peloponnesian War (c. 431-404 BC.). There is a good explanation for the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Esolen explains that the Romans, who could be harsh and severe, were also tolerant of the different peoples whom they ruled. For example, those from North Africa, Western Asia, Greece, Gaul or France, the British Isles, etc. could be Roman citizens regardless of their origin of birth and geography.
Esolen excelled in this book in describing Ancient Greek and Roman literature and philosophy. Esolen's description of Ancient Greek drama is profound, even those who are well read in Ancient Greek drama would learn from this book. Esolen's explanations show knowledge and careful thought. His explanations of Ancient Greek philosophy also demonstrate Esolen's knowledge and ability to convey ideas and serious thought. This part of the book was surprisingly good.
Esolen also gave readers a complex but clear summary of monotheism. He gave a detailed explanation of Judaism and Christianity which was informative and undermined the politically correct childish views. Esolen, who honestly admitted he is a devout Catholic, was surprisingly honest in writing clear explanations of both of these monotheistic religions. He compared and contrasted the early Church Fathers with the then emerging Judaism. Anyone who has an interest in biblical studies and history would learn from this part of the book.
Esolen then ventured into the studies of the middle ages. His list of Catholic achievements and contributions are unanswerable. Esolen cited examples of the medieval monks, the medieval friars, etc. He explained the liveliness of medieval universities and Scholastism. Those who think the Catholic Church tried to hinder learning would learn so much to the contrary. Esolen spent pages in explaining the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1275) and compared his thinking with other Scholastics. Esolen, while giving the Franciscan Father Roger Bacon (1214-1294) proper credit, was clear that experimental science and the scientific method predated Father Bacon by centuries by other monks and friars.
Esolen exposed the European Renaissance for what it was and what it was not. Esolen did not condemn the Renaissance per se, but he was also clear that Renaissance political developments were at times dangerous to the Catholic Church and those who little or no political power or wealth. Esolen explained that the drive for centralization of political power among Renaissance crowned heads often threatened the buffer the Catholic Church authorities provided for the powerless and those who were victimized by such political concentrations. On the other hand, Esolen wrote vivid descriptions of Renaissance literature and political philosophy. His treatment of Dante's (1265-1321) THE DIVINE COMEDY is simply brilliant.
Esolen's study of early Modern European History and the "Enlightenment" is thought provoking. He explained that the Age of Scholasticism was the actual Age of Reason as opposed to the Enlightenment. Readers may disagree, but Esolen presents a good argument to support his thesis. Esolen showed the internal contradictions of Enlightenment philosophers' thinking. He also showed that the Age of Enlightenment Despots was one of continuous war especially the tragic Thirty Years War (1618-1648).
Esolen had little sympathy with 19th Century political thought and philosophy. He excoriated Marxism in this book and showed that the actual political events under Marxist banners who lethal disasters and tragedies. He showed that Darwin's work (1809-1882) was corrupted by those who favored eugenics and racist power. Yet, while Esolen was critical of Nietzsche (1844-1900), Esolen stated that Nietzsche was at least "an honest atheist."
Esolen undermined the politically correct nonsense that has had a free ride until recently. The insane effort to drive the Great Books and ideas from higher (hire?) education has finally met resistance, and this book is a good antidote. There are some criticisms of this book. At times Esolen preached too much. He oversimplified his explanation of recent history. This reviewer thinks Esolen could have enhanced this book with discussions of Classical Music beginning with Gregorian chant. The Classical Music of Western Europe is a major contribution.
However, these criticisms are overcome by Esolen's well written explanations of the literature and philosophy of Europe. The book is clearly written and informative. Readers would also benefit from reading Prof. Thomas Woods' HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BUILT WESTERN CIVILIZATION and Father Duffy's well written book titled QUEEN OF THE SCIENCES. This book was recently published in 2008 and is part of the Politically Incorrect Series of Regnery Publishing, Inc.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE CIVIL WAR
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