Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
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Nov 10, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: didn-t-finish, political

Update: I took this out of the library to attempt a reread...no changes, wanted to be fair. Still don't care for it. As noted, no changes.

Oh my goodness aren't we brave to tell (re-tell) American history this way? "You've been lied to and only I have the strength of character to tell you about it"

Yeah, yeah, yeah I've heard it all before. In C.S. Lewis' Great Divorce there's a high churchman of the Church of England who's going on about how brave he was to take a secular stand and renouncing "traditional" beliefs. The "person" he's talking to (who was with him at that time) calls him on it and says you were never in danger of being renounced. You were in the main stream and only pretending (or possibly fooling yourself to put the best face on it) to go against the main stream. That's what we've got here, Since the 70s it's been "fashionable" to try and "debunk" American values and heroes. This one goes right down the line from going for the worst take possible on Columbus to attacking the motives of everyone involved in the American Revolution.

You want to read this, fine. But let me suggest some balance, bias is bias no matter which side it comes from or comes down on.

I won't debate (for example) Christopher Columbus' motives here...just realize he like everyone else was a product of his times and if you read his own writings you'll find "slavery and genocide" were the farthest things from his mind.

European "industrial" culture met a hunter gatherer culture and we got the predictable result. Does anyone really think that maybe fencing off the "New World" and making it a sort of preserve for tribal culture would ever have happened? Yes there were tragedies (I am not taking them lightly, all human history is rife with tragedy) but the continual self flagellation and the "let's all hate America and feel guilty about history-ism" has gotten silly. If we can't look at it for what it is and was and then move on we'll destroy ourselves.
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02/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 224) (224 new)

message 1: by Mary JL (new)

Mary JL Mike: One thing about bad-mouthing America is---other nations have skeletons in THEIR closets too.

The wrongs and mistakes made since American was colonized are not "American" wrongs--they are "human nature" wrongs. All human cultures are mix of good and bad persons and good and bad ideas.

Writing a history book--The USA is perfect--would be wrong. But writing a history book--The USA is rotten is equally wrong. To really know history , you must have SOME balance.

Yes, slavery, genocide, discrimination, and oppression of anyone is wrong. These offenses have certainly been practiced in many human cultures--not just the USA.

Kyle A "preserve for tribal culture"!? That sounds repulsive. I think what we would expect from decent human being is rather than treating them like animals, as you describe, and committing genocide, as Zinn describes, would be to respect them, learn from their cultures, work alongside them, barter with them, learn from them but don't pillage, rape and murder. Anything but pillage, rape and murder would have been a great start. Many comments on here point to the context of when these things happened and what would we expect for people to do, committing murder on a mass scale should not be excused in that way.

The whole reason Zinn wrote this book is that history books don't take these parts of the accounts into the picture, e.g., the film Pocahontas glorifies John Smith, villianizes Powhatan and claims that all the Indians needed was some bi-racial forbidden love in order to prosper. What they needed was armies not slaughtering their people.

Mike (the Paladin) I'm only answering to let you know I read your response. Your mind is made up and it's a free country. Your response shows that you didn't get what I was saying but reacted to your take on it. These were 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century peoples as well as the 20th and now 21st. The cultures of Europe met the hunter gathers of this continent. At first they got along fairly well, but as more Europeans arrived, common people saw open land and did not understand the culture that looked at things totally differently than they did. The clash was always kill or be killed on both sides. This was a clash of 2 totally different cultures and not an academic exorcise. There was never a chance that it wouldn't turn out as it did. Had the cultures that came to North America first been Asian instead of European it would have eventually gone the same way.

That is only one problem with this book. You actually can take comfort as the world view this volume advocates has come to be the predominate view in most educational institutions. It's a left wing political work that presents itself as history (yes I'm aware there are right wing works that do the same, but the left is in political ascendancy, and academic favor).

The book has an axe to grind. You agree with it. That is your right and while I disagree I respect your right.

message 4: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Andresen I'm curious to know, Mike... have you read all of Christopher Columbus' writings?

Mike (the Paladin) Of course not. I'm like everyone else and have seen excerpts from his journals etc. He was human like everyone else, wanted recognition (which he didn't get) but also saw himself as doing a good thing. Noble intentions don't work out much of the time.

Bottom line...he wasn't intent on enslaving native populations etc. He thought he'd found the western coast of the "Indies" at the time. It has simply become fashionable and PC to attack him and his motives. "We" as in our society are (as of 3 or 4 generations ago especially) are insisting on attempting to rewrite history as if ideas, thoughts, attitudes, views...etc, that are extant today were always the norm.

As noted, what happened was the result of divergent cultures meeting and coming into conflict. The worst came out, on all sides. This book is largely simply a political platform and it was largely swallowed...whole, because it fit(s) the view of much of the academic community. That's both the instructor (indoctrinator) and most students (the indoctrinated).

Simeon This dude's favorite author is Ann Coulter.
And enough said.

Mike (the Paladin) Ummmm.....Ms. Coulter is among those writers I like yes, among others. Not sure that's actually the whole story, though it obviously is for some.

Enjoy the Kool-Aid.

message 8: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin @Kyle Koeppe - THANK YOU!

Unfortunately the Europeans were not decent. They were mechanical-power-hungry-soulless beings.

Bottom line... It was not a "product" of an industrial culture. The Europeans were intolerant of the natives, greedy for land and power, and ignorant to nature. Even though Columbus mistook America for India and Native Americans for Indians -- he viewed the people as nothing more than bodies for labor and nature and animals as goods. The native people were viewed as enemies - nevermind that this was their home, they were obstacles for what the white man wanted.

I am half Seminole native baby, and I curse Columbus til the day I die. He had no noble intentions - he wanted to get to India, around the Ottoman empire, and do the same damn thing to them. Greed was his only motive, and 90% of the native population died for it in the first century of European contact.

Oh, and you excusing the slaughtering of my ancestors like that? Makes me SICK. Why don't you re-read this book with a heart.

message 9: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin "Columbus's main reason for traveling to the new world was to find gold, and he was responsible for killing, torturing and enslaving natives by the millions. Eight million in Haiti alone were reduced to 200 within 60 years - now seen as history's first documented genocide. Columbus practically invented genocide.

The new world was not populated by sparsely-scattered tribes, but by as many as 100 million Indians, which were systematically wiped out by one plague after another, most introduced purposely. Columbus's role in setting up the system is never mentioned. Indians were hunted for sport, murdered for dog food, and given to officers as sex slaves. Tributes in gold or cotton were due every 3 months, and Indians who did not comply had their hands chopped off."

Mike (the Paladin) Did I say "sparsely"???? I simply said tribes. These tribes were just as violent and nasty as the Europeans who landed with smallpox and gun powder.

This book stirs up emotions either way. It's politics, not history. You will probably get angry, but let me suggest you look around and try to find some more objective history (though I realize most writers will have a certain amount of prejudice).

You FEEL your reaction. Someone has taught you to view Columbus and the entire era with a jaundiced eye. Please try to think of this. If it hadn't been the Spanish then it would have been someone. There was apparently an earlier attempt to colonize the "New World" earlier but the northern Europeans weren't quite advanced technologically to make a go.

Throughout history more advanced societies have subsumed others. Agriculture wipes out hunter gatherers, metal workers sweep in and conquer. These people were products of their time and it you'll actually look you'll find the Columbus's backers (the throne) were the ones heavily interested in some kind of profit. This may not seem any better to you but Columbus would have been more interested in saving their souls...

But I realize I'm probably beating my head against a wall. You have a right to your opinion.

message 11: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Mike, I think the main point you seem to be missing from the comments and from Zinn’s book is that what Columbus did to Native Americans was not the right thing to do. It wasn't morally correct behavior, so whether it was Columbus or someone else, what the people commenting here are trying to get you to see is that such behavior as murdering, torturing and enslaving other people because they are different from Columbus and his Spanish compatriots and considered mere obstacles to their bottomless greed, is not the right way to treat other people.

You say that Kechiche “FEELS” (and I love the all caps to emphasize your point and diminish his) his reaction but he has presented very concrete and disturbing facts besides his obvious and good hearted human reaction to not liking the horrible deeds that transpired. Facts you continue to want to ignore and sweep under the carpet or worse…excuse.

Other comments made here say that a more biased view should be expressed, but Zinn’s book is the truth, not right wing politics making stuff up, the factual truth that millions of Native Americans were slaughtered, enslaved, raped and tortured. There is no bias in presenting these truths other than Zinn’s reason for presenting the facts which is to say hey guys what they’ve been feeding us in school is not entirely the truth or even close to it. Maybe if you look really hard you’ll see that Zinn’s book is a balance to the fabricated/propagandist history that has been taught to us in school. They gave us one side and he’s giving us the real side, which I prefer to bs.

You may not like the truth, America may not look good in the light of the truth, but the truth is neither left nor right, it is what happened and for you to keep trying to sweep the truth under the carpet by saying it’s a left form of indoctrination is not morally right either.

Most right wing Americans today do not want to deal in truths or facts which makes your “feel” comment all the more ironic but hardly surprising. It is actually you and your right wing compatriots who FEEL a certain way, who are stuck in the past, and want to coerce others to feel the same way using right wing catch phrases like PC to diminish or conceal the truth.

Your time like that of your right wing compatriots, like Columbus and his fascist compatriots before you is up. The mainstream has spoken and they don’t favor milque toast interpretations of history. We don’t want concealments and lies to gloss over the ugly truths. The mainstream wants the real answers, not the false sound bites your peddling to throw everyone off the correct path for history and evolution. Accepting responsibility for American atrocities is the first step to healing this country’s divisions, but I don’t think that’s what the right wants. They want to keep living in the past and keep those walls up. Well Zinn broke those walls down in his book and now it’s time for you to either grow from it or keep your head in the sand and get out of the way!

Mike (the Paladin) I'm not sweeping facts under the rug, I'm being realistic about them.

There's no point in trying to defend what you call my "right wing compatriots" you seem to have us pigeonholed so well. What I am saying is self flagellation serves no purpose. We can bemoan the past all we want. Do we now what? Hunt down all the descendants of Cortez and punish them for their ancestor's misdeeds?

I realize I'm beating my head on a brick wall here but I'll try again. Attributing motives based on 21st (actually 20th if we date things with the book) century sensibilities and 20/20 hindsight is pointless and the "movement" now is to go far beyond simply looking at history and saying"isn't what was done back then awful". It's an attempt to say all the grew from that colonization period must be awful to.

Yes, I'm what is generally termed "conservative". We need to define terms if we want to start throwing other terms like "right and left wing" around. I do believe that more that is good or positive has come out of the establishment of the United States than negative. I don't pretend that what happened to the native peoples here was a good thing. Neither do I pretend that it was somehow unprecedented in world history.

I repeat myself, again, technologically advanced societies throughout world history have subsumed less technologically advanced societies. That advancement might only have been spears over clubs, but it's human history.

Many people like this book, and that's fine, but it's a political book more than a history book. Of course there are books that will do exactly the same from the opposite side of the spectrum.

This review has probably garnered more complaints and brought more controversy than any of my others...so let m put everyone's mind at rest.

I don't like the book. I said why I don't like the book. If you disagree, that's fine as one of the core beliefs I hold is that we should all be able to believe what we choose to, think what we choose to and say what we choose to.

If you like it, enjoy...please, review it yourself and give it a glowing report. I don't. It's not...my cup of tea.

message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin Brenizer You should also read, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Bhibsen Your logic is flawed. It wasn't "different cultures coming into conflict". It was one culture forcing itself on another and using it's military might to eliminate the other culture in order to benefit from its resources.

Mike (the Paladin) No it's not. The European relatively industrialized culture came in contact with hunter gatherer and agricultural based cultures.

I repeat, there was never going to be a fence or wall placed around the North and South American continents. Had it not been the Spanish, Swiss, Dutch, French, English etc. then it would have been the Chinese or the Japanese (more likely the Chinese as the Japanese were more insular.) It was going to happen. The Aztecs would have continued to subjugate their neighbors. The Cherokee and the Iroquois would have continued to war.

I've been through this over this review constantly, I get it, you don't like my review. Fine. Have your Kool-Aid and relax. We can simply agree to disagree.

message 16: by Checkman (new)

Checkman Good for you Mike. Zinn is a nut. A couple years ago he went onto National Public Radio and basically accused NPR of being part of some type of shadowy conspiracy and that he had been targeted by this vague conspiracy. Whatever he might have started out as over the past fifty years Zinn went waayy down into the rabbit hole and through the looking glass.

message 17: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Sep 03, 2012 11:48AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) Thanks. I had this out of the library and really had trouble getting through it. Oh well. You see the fire storm that hit when I posted this. It just showed up again because when I reread the review I saw a couple of typos and corrected them. LOL.

message 18: by Checkman (new)

Checkman No problem.

Lady of the Lake Great! Excellent review.

message 20: by Margie (new)

Margie Thessin Someone said the Europeans intentionally brought "plagues." Seriously? They had no idea how disease was transmitted at that time so how could they have intentionally transmitted it? Read 1491 for a look at the reality of the Western Hemisphere before Columbus.

Mike (the Paladin) There were situations where contaminated blankets were give to Native American villages. From the the extrapolation goes crazy, that's apparently where the idea came from. No, the Europeans had no thought that they were bringing infection.

In a way there was payback as new venereal diseases made the trip back to Europe that were already among the tribes. Again, I doubt it was a "planned" attack.

People put their own political beliefs into the histories they write or for that matter the news the report. I don't see how anyone can deny bias now as the constant failure to report what actually went on last 9-11 continue. FOX and a few other p[laces are reporting things that you'd never know about if all you watched or listened to were the "major" networks or CNN.

Christopher Newton I was wondering what the "balance" is that you were going to suggest. You forgot to put it in.

Christopher Newton I've just started reading the book but so far don't see a bias towards one view more than another. Maybe that comes later in the book. We live in an age of polemic. I'm not sure if objective history writing is possible anymore -- if it ever was.

Mike (the Paladin) ...you don't see a bias???? Well okay. A lot of people don't, not to be argumentative, really. It tends to be people who hold the same views and see their views being endorsed.

It is a free country and I hope it stays that way. I disagree with the point of view that shows all the way through here, but I endorse the right to hold, speak and write about that view.

message 25: by Zach (new) - rated it 1 star

Zach Thompson What Zinn and people in this feed are forgetting is the fact that America (the U.S., the country of which Zinn is supposed to written this history about) was NOT founded by the Spaniards or the Portugese but by three separate and distinct groups that are not to be confused with those that came after Columbus as envoys of Spanish royalty and corruption and immorality. Those that truly landed on what would become the U.S.A were the Puritans, William Penn and his visionary pioneers for a community that would tolerate peoples of every religion or spirituality, and the colonists at Jamestown. Those first two bodies mentioned being individuals FLEEING the persecution the experienced in Europe and the Jamestown settlement still as being an envoy group chartered for the benefit of a european Monarchy. Again the Puritans and Those that populated Penn's new colony were religious AND political refugees running from the Monarchical tyranny and bankrupt morals of European society to try their luck at creating their own havens for religous toleration of all peoples and both respectively had very good and peaceful relations with the natives that were already extant in the area. The violence and hate that Zinn likes to focus so much on is not from the early U.S. settlers who needed to save themselves or die at home. The conquerers he focuses on are those that imported the hollow European society that very much did wreak such havoc. Thus if you want to attack any group for the injustices that occurred take on the Europeans of totalitarian Monarchy and and medieval morals not the TRUE faithful few who's only desire was to etch out an existence that would help themselves and their new NON-European ideals survive the certain trampling out they would have if they had stayed in Europe (or rather England). This is also true of why Jamestown colony can be considered in part at least a half failure they were oriented to materiel gain while those in New England and Penn's Woods were there for a true spiritual and peaceful rebirth of a Meritocracy far superior to the shell that Europe was and still continues to be.

Bhibsen I can see your point and confess that Zinns book is extremely biased towards his political views, however, whatever society had conures the New World, it was wrong of them, whether a byproduct of conflicting cultures or simple greed one cannot argue that it was morally right to enslave and annihilated indigenous populations. It is not as if the idea of inalienable rights was foreign at the time, so using culture as an out does not hold water. That said, even assuming a benign motive and equal responsibility on both sides, one cannot argue that the version of history we were taught in schools was anything but an extremely whitewashed version of events. That Zinn presents an alternate story cannot excuse his bias and inaccuracies , I will agree, however, it is at least an alternative that forces one to think about our history through a lens not pointed by the victors. That said, all cultures have their share of skeletons in the closet and I do agree that more good than evil has resulted from the democratic-republic experiment.

message 27: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Curcione Bhibsen is right. The point is- what I was taught in school was white-washed down and frankly One-sided and sterilized. Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors were revered for their courage and acumen. Oh really! Is that all????

Sadia Reza Mike, let me start out by saying that I do understand what you're attempting to say, to a certain extent. You're right that "all human history is rife with tragedy" and thus America was not the only "advanced" society to, as you say dominate "less advanced" societies, but I think the whole point is that America's particular story of its colonizers' interactions with the Indians have always generally been misrepresented, and often the exploitation and genocide completely excluded. The reason this misrepresentation is even worse compared to that of others is precisely because America has come to be portrayed as such an ideal nation, as if to wipe out the truth of how it came to be, which is actually literally what they do in school. If they indoctrinate us early on with this ideal image of America, and we later on come to learn the truth, is it us who are drinking the Kool-Aid as you say? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Also, you affirm that Columbus and Cortez and the other colonizers were simply a product of their times, and that "'slavery and genocide' were the farthest things from [Columbus'] mind"...

1. You can't just say that they were a product of their time. Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and Bartolome de las Casas lived in the same time, the same colonial period, and both DENOUNCED the inhumanity of the exploitation of the Indians. De las Casas spent 50 years during the colonial period beseeching the king to recognize the atrocities and to develop more humane methods.

2. Do you think slavery & genocide were far from Columbus' mind if his whole purpose was to go and find gold & riches & whatever, & to attain status in doing so, while being completely conscious that there were natives on the land, (although he got the wrong ones), do you really think that he had not intention to do whatever it required of him to get what he wanted? Not only that, there are sections in which Columbus specifically writes about how completely astonishingly "easy" it was to manipulate the Indians because they were so naturally generous to them. The language that he uses to describe it is disturbingly sickening, because it is almost like a foreshadowing of the eventual massacres. (I am not, in saying this, denying that there were Indian groups who were undeniably violent as well.)

And, yes, you are also right that it is self-flagellation to continue to condemn ourselves for the atrocities committed by them, and that we should "move on"...but this notion of exploitation and conquering and dominating other countries and cultures has continued to become a characteristic of America throughout its entire history to the modern period. If we just "move on" and continue to have such a high ego of ourselves, despite continuing to perceive others as less than us and perpetrate upon them other forms of injustice, IS it really a good idea to simply move on, without reevaluating ourselves and actions? If the past becomes the present, just in different forms, and to different degrees, does that mean that it shouldn't be condemned just as much?

(By this time, you're probably pretty tired of reading all these comments lol).

Mike (the Paladin) I won't go into this long term as you've probably noticed this review has drawn a bit of fire. The point I will mention is that reevaluation has been done. We are not the people who settled this continent. That's of course good and bad as in many ways we've thrown the baby out with the bath water. But if we continue berating the country and people for things that happened in the 1500s, the 1600s, the 1700s and the 1800s we are simply participating in pointless self flagellation. We have learned much. No we don't want to forget but the rewriting of history as in this book and now it seems to me "most" others condemns the country as a whole. I admit that I'm one of those who thinks that America has been a more positive influence on history. Sadly the way we are moving I think most academics take the opposite view.

message 30: by Braddear99 (new)

Braddear99 I do hope that you try and revisit this book again

Mike (the Paladin) I got t out of the library again a few months ago and came away without a major change here. Sorry.

message 32: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Tolman This guy said nothing about the book or its facts. What this book does is give some light to facts that have been swept under the rug. This book is not biased it gives history from a different point of view. From the powerless rather that the empowered (as history as its normally told is factually quite distorted. I think its quite clear that it's this reviewer that is biased not the book.

message 33: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Mar 28, 2013 11:59AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) As soon as you said the book wasn't biased you moved into fantasy land. History is not a point of view. I acknowledged that all histories are written from a given point of view...some more than others.

You even used "buzz-words". Form the point of view of the "powerless". Your coming from the assumption that "resources" have somehow been stolen and there are people who have somehow Unjustly gotten more than they "deserve" so the "state" needs to take over and redistribute...I believe I've come across that somewhere else????

But of course THAT is an unbiased attitude. The idea that people deserve what they earn and have the right not to have it taken from them is the OPPRESSORS view.


message 34: by Derek (new)

Derek It's better than the glossed over version of history we're told in school. I think you just like to see yourself type, just like a few other blowhards commenting here. You miss the point.

Mike (the Paladin) Is it possible you missed all the other insults and like comments already made "at" me here...or were you just convinced yours was better?

Please, enjoy your Kool-Aid.

Shanna All your review seemed to be saying to me is, "Blah, blah, I'm an old man, stuck in the ways of the time, blah." There were plenty of people then, and now who were in the times and not getting sucked into the debasing of others or oneself to get what they want. Excuses, excuses. Maybe it was just easier and they had the power to do so, that's how it usually goes, it seems. I appreciate both sides of history, now that I can recall the information taught years ago to compare it to another side. I can also appreciate your opinion of it, however it may have come out.

Mike (the Paladin) Sadly all your comment says is that you only read what I said through the lenses of what you already believe. Is it possible that aside from missing what I actually said you also missed all the posts between the review and your comment?

History is made up of facts and also the spin writers and teachers put on those facts what they choose to say and also leave out. Propaganda has always been part of it, it's just gotten more and more blatant.

Shanna That's why one tries to take both sides and put them together. Hence, you're need to repetitively out-speak whomever may have a slightly different view to you is unfortunately putting some people off, perhaps. If you've already imparted your views, why continually try to shove it down people's throats? They've read your review, took from it what they considered pertinent and moved on.

I know it must be hard to have so many people say one thing or another about your post, but in the end, it's still just you with your cynical, narrow-minded view. Obviously, opinions are as opinions do, they flip-flop.

message 39: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Sep 22, 2013 05:57PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) No not hard, I expect it. I also expect condescension as it's a great defense mechanism. What I do notice however is that instead of writing their own positive review people spend time repeating what other posters have already said because something other than their own preconceptions being said is intolerable.

Oh and "cynical" and "narrow minded"? You seem to have learned a lot about me based on one review. You're very insightful.

And I'm not sure...where did I flip-flop? Oh well.

Shanna You look for fight, I was leaving my opinion. I didn't attack your review. I told you what I thought it seemed like to me. You are narrow-minded because you can't get those who don't agree with you to change their minds upon your "gift" of a review. Maybe you're used to condescension because you only know how to leave your biased reviews in your cynical way.

I suppose you find it too hard to read a small discussion, as well. I had said, "opinions are as opinions do, they flip-flop." Meaning, people's opinions change or stay the same regardless of your jaw-flapping. So, oh well, continue on your arrogant nonsense.

message 41: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Sep 22, 2013 06:25PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) Hummm....you know last I looked I wasn't seeking a fight. I was simply answering the same objections I've had here multiple times since I posted this.

I was never trying to change anyone's opinion I simply posted a review and stated my opinion.

As noted, I have no problem with your opinion nor with you..."posting your own review". One of the points of my review and my viewpoint is that we are free to think and speak as we see fit.

Please, enjoy.

Yes I'm sure we will disagree on many/most things. Life. Yes I will think you're wrong just as you will think I am.

I will simply continue to state my thoughts you are free to do the same.

I will always try yo be civil. While I in no way back from what I believe if you feel I was confrontational I apologize for that.

Though I assume we will have to agree to disagree.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

I enjoyed your review thoroughly, Mike. I'm sick to death of political bias on both sides of the spectrum bleeding into all aspects of life these days. I wish everything didn't have to have a "spin".

For that matter tho, I wish folks who took the time to comment on random reviews had the decency to do so in an intelligent, considerate way rather than launching personal attacks on reviewers simply because they offer a dissenting opinion.

I'll crap in one hand and wish in the other and see how that works out for me ;)

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooooh, you caught one of those holier-than-thou trolls. I'm jealous.

Mike (the Paladin) Maybe I just live right????

Bhibsen I have to defend Mike here. I may disagree with his point if view but I welcome the discussion. Lets keep it civil and blot ad- homonym, shall we?

message 46: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Miller Mary JL wrote: "Mike: One thing about bad-mouthing America is---other nations have skeletons in THEIR closets too.

The wrongs and mistakes made since American was colonized are not "American" wrongs--they are "h..."

That's the entire point of this book, to fill in the nasty parts most history books refuse to address.

Mike (the Paladin) Hardly. This book simply takes the same tack as every other modern history. Nothing daring here. It's safe to take the worst view of everything about the nation's founding and growth...it's even fashionable.

message 48: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Miller Oh bollocks Mike.

message 49: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Miller Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Hardly. This book simply takes the same tack as every other modern history. Nothing daring here. It's safe to take the worst view of everything about the nation's founding and growth...it's even fa..."

Your comment belies reality. Reality is history has been whitewashed in colleges and schools since the U.S.'s inception. Authoring the truth about these things is hardly popular, as people like yourself seem to feel victimized when the truth is thrown in your face.

message 50: by Mike (the Paladin) (last edited Oct 25, 2013 05:30PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike (the Paladin) Your comment is one sided. All history is told from a point of view.

As I have pointed out repeatedly here in the review and to the others who don't agree.

You are simply buying into the narrative that somehow only the current generation is able to see through all the lies they've been told.

The only difference now is that the bias is on the "America is bad" side. The current generation is not wiser than their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. The historical writings have always been there. Only since the late '60s it's been fashionable to take as negative as possible a view of American history.

Again as I have said before here, bias is bias. Yes earlier writers concentrated more on the positive. The complete story lays in the middle.

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