Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Sunday, February 27, 2005

On The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History

Okay, time for another book review of a book I haven't finished. But, this time, it's for a different reason.

I haven't finished this book yet, simply because my head would explode if I didn't put a review of it up here, RIGHT NOW! I've been trying to hold off until I was done with the book, for about four or five days now, but, I can't.

This book is just too darn important for me to not reccomend it. If I have to put up a partial review, just to get y'all to run out and buy it, so be it. I'll do it.

It takes a lot for a book to teach me something about history, and especially US military history, that I wasn't already at least passingly familiar with. This book does it, on each and every page. Seriously. There hasn't yet been a page that didn't teach me something new, or burst an incorrect idea that I had about the history of the US. That takes some doing, and some rock-solid research.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, written by Thomas E. Woods, Jr, PhD (I hate it when PhDs insist on being called "doctor"...Mr Woods doesn't.), is not an exhaustive study of American history, nor is it a detailed study of American history. Rather, it is a quick skimming of all the misconceptions that most (including moi...sorry for the fwench lingo) Americans have about their history.

F'rinstance, Hebert Hoover actually DID make the Great Depression worse, but, not through inaction. Rather, the only president who meddled with the US economy more than Hoover was his successor...Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Who turned the Great Depression from a disaster to a catastrophe. In addition, World War II did NOT bring the US out of the Depression. FDR's death did. These are not charges that are just flung about by Mr. Woods, but, are researched and laid out to see, for anyone with just a hair more than a passing familiarity with The New Deal and economics.

In addition, it takes a lot for me to have my respect for Woodrow Wilson lowered. I wasn't aware that I could have less respect for that clown than I did. Well, Mr. Woods dropped my respect for Wilson to slightly LOWER than the respect I have for Clintoon. Seriously. After each page dealing with Wilson, all I could say was, "He was a bigger clown that I thought!". And each page made me think he was a bigger clown that the previous page. Incredible.

The section that hurt the most, though, was the section on the US Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln. I have heard some rumblings and grumblings throughout the community of sensible historians that Lincoln wasn't as good of a president that every one thought he was. And Mr. Woods shows us why. I'll just say that Lincoln and the Republicans (pre-, during, and post-war) taught the modern-day Dhimmicrat Party every thing they know about governance. And they weren't lessons that we really wanted them to know.

About the only section that didn't teach me anything new was the section on the Red Scare of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. In a nutshell, Sen Joseph "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy (R-WI) was wrong about the number of Soviet sympathizers (he didn't say spies...he said sympathizers)...by about a factor. As Mr. Woods says, books on Sen. McCarthy tend to be rather long, and well researched, so, Mr. Woods doesn't devote a whole lot of time or effort to the subject, but, he certainly gets our feet wet. Mr. Woods does reference the Venona Project's declassification in 1996, which showed that, with only a minor fraction of cables decrypted, there were 350 Soviet sympathizers, and spies, in the US Government. And that's with only about 10% or so of the cables declassified...Soviet records of the time push that number up to about 1,000...including a certain advisor to Clintoon, Harold Ickes, Jr. But, I got that name, and the latter number, from Ann Coulter's book, Treason.

Yet another revision of thought of mine that this book caused was my estimation of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Warren did have an awfully corrupt administration, but, he didn't do much else to the US. Calvin Coolidge did even less. Strangely, both presidents saw nearly unprecedented growth of the economy...Neither president meddled in foreign politics, tinkered with the US economy, or left some legacy building social fiasco program. For that alone, we should raise our estimation of their presidencies. The US economy does just fine, thank you very much, when it is LEFT ALONE! Even Ronaldus Magnus didn't do that. Granted, he tinkered less, but, he still tinkered. Coolidge and Harding were probably the only two US presidents who were smart enough to leave the US economy alone, and we should thank them for that. Now, if we can just convince our current (and future) president of that, I'll have a little more hope about the fate of the US.

All in all, if you want just the bare-bones treatment of the REAL American history, buy this book. If you want a more in-depth analysis of real American history, buy this book, and use it as a checklist. If you would like your myths dispelled, and cherished beliefs crushed, buy this book. If you would like to crush cherished beliefs, and dispell beliefs, buy this book. If you just want to be more knowledgeable than you were before, buy this book. If you just want an entertaining read, buy this book. In short, buy this book. And then, read it. You will NOT be disappointed. Unless you are a MoonBat, or Progressive Liberal. Y'all aren't too keen on the truth, anyway. This much fact and knowledge could cause you to actually think, which leads to conservatism. And we know how much you want that.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country