Brett Williams's Reviews > The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists Are Murdering Our Past

The Killing of History by Keith Windschuttle
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it was amazing

The Totalitarian Era of Political Correctness

“The essence of history,” writes the author, “is that it once tried to tell the truth, to describe as best as possible what really happened.” Not so much anymore. Less is there a distinction between history and fiction in this, one of many fronts in the culture wars against Western Civilization. In this book we find a war of atrocities committed by the West upon itself, most notably in the US. The Australian author, Keith Windshuttle, carries us through the wreckage to find objectivity has been abandoned, truth hopelessly politicized. But no vacuum remains. The old objectivity is replaced by kind sounding censorship, control, and quiet vendetta. This is not isolated but permeates the West’s political system, media and every university that once considered education its aim. Not a conspiracy but a movement. The attack is not only on history but on knowledge. (Fortunately, nature is the final judge, and technology conforms to that nature – i.e. technology works.)

One such “new Left” theory discussed by Windshuttle is “structuralism” (pioneered by Claude Lévi-Strauss), claiming that people are incapable of seeing outside structures imposed by their culture – a psychological edifice confining every thought to this structure. But structuralism cannot account for insights radically outside accepted modes of thought that are the mainstay of scientific and social revolutions – Einstein and Jesus. According to Windshuttle, the new movements tell us we can never really know what happened in history, then contradict themselves by telling us what really happened. Far from defeating Eurocentric bias, we find structuralists extending it. University professors rename their personal political agendas as "cultural studies" in order to brainwash students their way under rules of “academic freedom.” We find revisionist history, segregation of students by race or gender with White Studies or Women’s Studies on campus (what the Klan wanted but failed at), and the blending of fact with fiction to insert a totalitarian indoctrination little different than fundamentalist conservatives who seek to rewrite text books because the facts of life are unsettling. Not just another transient social fad, these new movements are a crisis of civilization for Windshuttle.

Oswald Spengler said this would happen: the West would begin to doubt itself, find itself guilty, and pronounce a verdict of its own extinction. Windshuttle indicates we've arrived. An excellent book by a man immersed in the field. If you read this book you'll find it hard to put down, but you may never sleep soundly again.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 27, 2004 – Finished Reading
April 1, 2014 – Shelved

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