Adult -- The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
- Today's library suggestion is not a Catholic book per se, but it is written
by Catholic writer, editor, and scholar Tom Woods
Check to see if this title is already in your library's catalog. If it is,
put a hold on it and check it out. If not, fill out a patron request form right
away. This can usually be done online at your library's website.
Title: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
Author: Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Publisher: Regnery Publishing Inc., Washington DC
Date Published: Dec. 2004
Price: 19.95 Softcover
Comments: Refutes common misinterpretations of American History. Would be a
good read for a high school or college student.
Claiming that most textbooks and popular history books were written by biased
left-wing writers and scholars, historian Thomas Woods offers this guide as
an alternative to "the stale and predictable platitudes of mainstream texts."
Covering the colonial era through the Clinton administration, Woods seeks to
debunk some persistent myths about American history. For instance, he writes,
the Puritans were not racists intent on stealing the Indians' lands, the
Founding Fathers were not revolutionaries but conservatives in the true sense of the
word, the American War Between the States (to even call it a civil war is
inaccurate, Woods says) was not principally about slavery, Abraham Lincoln was no
friend to the slaves, and FDR's New Deal policies actually made the Depression
worse. He also covers a wide range of constitutional interpretations over the
years, particularly regarding the First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth amendments,
and continually makes the point that states' rights have been unlawfully
trampled upon by the federal government since the early days of the republic.
Though its title is more deliberately provocative than accurate, Woods' attack on
what he sees as rampant liberal revisionism over the past 25 years proves to
be an interesting platform for a book. He's as biased as those he rails
against, of course, but he does provoke thought in an entertaining way even if he
sometimes tries to pass off opinion as hard facts.
This quick and enjoyable read is packed with unfamiliar quotes, informative
sidebars, iconoclastic viewpoints, and a list of books "you're not supposed to
read." It is not a comprehensive or detailed study, but that is not its aim;
instead, it offers ideas for further research and a challenge to readers to dig
deeper and analyze some basic assumptions about American history--a worthy
goal that Woods manages to reach. --Shawn Carkonen
From Publishers Weekly
This book is not so much politically incorrect as it is contrarian, as well
as utterly contemptuous of anything supported by Liberals or "Intellectuals."
At every opportunity, Woods quotes government leaders, media sources and
"distinguished" academics who have said something that he feels backs up his view.
That view is, by and large, classically conservative, with a focus on states’
rights and small government. Any flaws in or missteps by politicians become
instant basis for rejecting them wholesale (i.e., Lincoln’s racial views; the
fact that JFK’s two major books were ghostwritten), as Woods dredges up
accusations both familiar and long-forgotten. The historical coverage is hardly
comprehensive, since Woods focuses on telling the "truth" about issues Liberals have
allegedly distorted, like the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement. Some
ideas that he claims are controversial are anything but: most people know the
Civil War was not fought primarily to abolish slavery, and it’s no secret that
Stalin starved his people. Woods writes with zeal, and speckles his narrative
with suggestions for further reading labeled "Books You’re Not Supposed to Read"
(which are mostly Right-wing revisionist histories) and "PC Today" boxes
containing a grab-bag of conservative gripes and assertions (i.e. "It is not true,
as most people believe, that the Indians had no conception of land ownership
and did not understand what they were doing when they sold their land to the
Puritans"). Diehard Republicans may find this book an inspiring corrective to
supposedly Liberal-biased history texts, but others will be put off by Woods’s
cherry-picking approach and supercilious tone.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All
Almost everything--you know about American history is wrong, because most
textbooks and popular history books are written by left-wing academic historians
who treat their biases as fact. But fear not, Professor Thomas Woods has
written the perfect antidote. This delightful book--funny and inviting, but
factually sound-shatters the myths about American history and separates fact from
From the Inside Flap
Everything well, almost everything you know about American history is wrong
because most textbooks and popular history books are written by left-wing
academic historians who treat their biases as fact. But fear not: Professor Thomas
Woods refutes the popular myths in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American
History. Professor Woods reveals facts that you won't be or never were taught
in school, tells you about the "Books You're Not Supposed to Read," and takes
you on a fast-paced politically incorrect tour of American history that will
give you all the information you need to battle and confound left-wing
professors, neighbors, and friends.
About the Author
Professor Thomas E. Woods Jr. holds an AB from Harvard and a Ph.D. from
Columbia. He teaches American History, is the associate editor of The Latin Mass
Magazine, and is a prolific essayist on historical subjects. He lives with his
family in Coram, New York.
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