A Bigot's Guide to American History
By Eric L. Muller
Alternet (February 2, 2005: also published on The American Constitution Society and Is That Legal?)
Regnery Publishing has a bestseller in Thomas E. Woods' "Politically Incorrect Guide to American History."
Regnery also happened to be the publisher of Michelle Malkin's "In Defense of Internment," which, you may recall, was an effort to demonstrate that everything most people know about one tragic episode in American history – the Japanese American internment – is leftist garbage.
Woods' "Politically Incorrect" resembles Malkin's, except that its thesis is that everything most people know about all of American history is leftist garbage.
No small task, Dr. Woods manages to do it in just 246 pages. With wide margins, no less!
Having read the book myself, I can say with confidence that Jeffrey A. Tucker provides a pretty good summary in his fawning "review":
[Woods] shows that the Constitution was never understood to be a permanent union, that big government caused the North-South conflict, that Alexander Hamilton's friends were racketeers, that the U.S. didn't have to enter WW I, that Hoover was a big government conservative, that FDR made the Depression worse, that there really were Communists in government, that FDR made WW II inevitable, that the Marshall Plan was a flop, that the Civil Rights movement increased social conflict and made everyone worse off, that unions made workers poorer, that the 80s weren't really the decade of greed, that Clinton's wars were aggressive and avoidable, and that his personal issues were a major distraction from the real problems of the 1990s.
Actually, now that I think of it, his summary does omit a few key points: the kindliness and magnanimity of Puritan settlers toward American Indians, the true conservatism of the American Revolution, the lawfulness of Southern secession, the North's responsibility for the post-Civil-War "black codes" in the South, the illegality of the 14th Amendment, the fact that the provisions of the Bill of Rights don't actually apply to the states, and some other stuff. Lots of other stuff too, actually. The book essentially stitches together every moment in American history that might conceivably be given a free-market, states'-rights spin and any piece of scholarship that might be used (or misused) to support it, adds to it a liberal sprinkling of Democrat-hero-bashing, and seasons the mix with a defense of the white majority against suspicions of racial cruelty or oppression.
To Read the Rest of the Review