Item description for The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Politically Incorrect Guide) by Thomas E. Woods Jr...
Overview Looks at American history with an irreverant and hard-hitting look at the nation's important people and events, concluding that the American Revolution was fought by conservatives and the First Amendment accepted state-sponsored churches.
Publishers Description 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. -
Citations And Professional Reviews The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Politically Incorrect Guide) by Thomas E. Woods Jr has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 12/27/2004
Ingram Advance - 01/01/2005 page 39
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Studio: Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.22" Width: 7.26" Height: 0.64" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2004
Publisher Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Series Politically Incorrect Guide
ISBN 0895260476 ISBN13 9780895260475
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas E. Woods Jr
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. holds a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard, and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he is the author of eleven books, including the New York Times bestsellers Meltdown, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Woods won the $50,000 first prize in the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards for his book The Church and the Market. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Topeka, Kansas.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History?
Absolutely a must-read! May 21, 2008
I knew my high school teachers were brainwashing me when it came to American history and politics, but until I read this book I never realized just how bad the brainwashing was. This book is absolutely a must-read for anyone who really wants to know the truth about some of U.S. history's biggest lies. Every american should read this book before voting this November!
By the way there are several other books in the P.I.G. series, including one on the Constitution. I haven't read that one yet, but if it's anything like this book, it's likely to be another eye-opener.
Dishonest and factually wrong Apr 15, 2008
I expected this book to be an iconoclastic and surprising take on American history. It is in fact an intemperate rant with numerous errors of fact - the author states Andrew Carnegie was born in the Outer Hebrides (he was born in Dunfermline) and that Kosovo is not a city (it was a province and has just become an independent country). The author takes such delight from the fact that a black student admitted to medical school under an affirmative action program was later struck of for malpractice that he uses the incident twice in different parts of his book.
He also sets up ludicrous "liberal" positions that he can debunk: no one seriously believes the Civil War was started to abolish slavery, but slavery was certainly the root cause of the war.
There must be an intelligent conservative take on American history. This is not it.
A Polite Version of Talk Radio Rant Feb 29, 2008
I was intrigued by another reviewer's eloquent summary of points from Prof. Woods's book about the revivification of the Latin liturgy in Catholic services. Prof. Woods seems quite knowledgeable about the recent history of Vatican reforms. The same cannot be said about his knowledge of American history. As an earlier reviewer said, it's "mostly hooey", cherry-picked factoids, some of them as mythical as the factoids Woods rails against. The specter of evil academic revisionists seems to haunt Prof Woods's day dreams, yet he is sublimely a revisionist himself, or rather a contrarian who dismisses anything written about any moment of American history that he prefers to interpret from his states' rights anti-intellectual bivouac. This is simply the most distorted and misleading book about America I've ever encountered, and it's at its worst on precisely the issues that matter most: the role of racism in the long term development of American culture, the intentions of the writers of the Constitution, the causes of the Civil War, the real story of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era, and the economic legislative history of the 1930s, about which Prof Woods vents amazing nonsense based on the slenderest of knowledge. This is a polemic, not a work of historiography. It would take 40 volumes of specific history to refute Prof. Woods's raw declarations, a bit of work I can't perform herewith. If you care, go straight to my profile and find the several listmania bibliographies I've offered as suggestions for honest and unpoliticized study of American history.
Added later: Thomas E Woods has chosen to make a personal appearance in the thread of comments on this review, and to assert that I must not have really read his book. Unfortunately, I have, and the time was wasted. Let's take alook at Woods's first assertion. One page 1 of his 10 page account of the entire colonial era, Woods writes: "First basic fact: the colonists were not paragons of diversity. They came from one part fo Europe. They spoke a common language. They worshiped the same God." Hmm. Is Woods deliberately ignoring the Dutch in what we now call New York, whose colony also included a small but important number of Sephardic Jews? And how about the Swedish colony in what we now call Delaware and New Jersey? Most of the Swedes were in fact Finns; it was among them that the American log cabin made its first appearance. Woods has the audacity to mention David Hackett Fischer, whose great book Albion's Seed makes precisely the opposite point, that the differences of religion, ideas of law and governance, and culture among the three large migrations of anglophone colonists were deep and permanent and have shaped much of American history ever since. And then, there were the French and the Spanish colonies; commerce put the New Englanders as much in contact with them as with the southern English colonies; witness the widespread use of Spanish pieces-of-eight as currency. And as Woods himself contradictorily asserts, the English and the Indigenes (Indians) lived side by side, with Indians attending Harvard by its second decade of existence. Also, don't forget that Africans were there, amid those non-diverse anglophones, before any colony was a hundred years old. Then came the Germans, in such numbers that even today about one-sixth of all Americans acknowledge having German ancestors. The descendents of those earliest Germans - the Pennsylvania Dutch - have never fully assimilated to mainline white America.
Woods thunders again and again against the "left-wing academic historians" who have written most textbooks and indoctrinated a generation of American youth. He's thrashing a straw man. Honestly I've never looked at an elementary or middle school American history textbook as shallow or doctrinaire as this PIG. If Mr. Woods chooses to dispute points with me, I'll be more than happy to reply to him chapter by chapter.
Essential reading Feb 25, 2008
This book should be a required text for public school American History. Slowly, but surely, we the people are re-introducing into our schools the quality most feared by the left: truth. Amazingly, the so-called "history scholars" who find fault with the book can't point out any factual inaccuracy.
The Politically Incorrect and Poorly Referenced Guide to American History Nov 26, 2007
The Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to the Constitution (Politically Incorrect Guides)As I began to read this book I was struck by two things. One was that the sources were not referenced like the usual academic, scholarly works I have read and two, too many of the quotes and statements of fact had the ring of an Email pass-along that too many times haven't been checked out on Snopes.com.
So much of the material sounded too good to be true and reason would seem to dictate that an avid reader of American History would have read the material somewhere before.
On page 67, there is a boxed quote attributed to Grant concerning his feelings about slavery. There is no reference attached to this quote to be found. A short trip to Google will convince the conscience student that the author did not do his research professionally if at all.
In the same box, it was stated that Ulysses S. Grant was a slaveholder until the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing Slavery was ratified after the war. The facts reveal that he worked a farm for his inlaws in Missouri before the war, and the in-laws owned the slaves. Grant's father-in-law gave him one slave which Grant freed in 1859 before the war.
When I read history written by PhD's from Columbia, I expect a higher level of scholarship. In this case maybe I was mistaken and this book was never intended to be seriously written history researched in a scholarly researched style.