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America's Forgotten History, Part 2: Rupture Kindle Edition

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I was born in Tennessee but grew up in a small town east of San Francisco. Summers were spent living out untold (and, to adults, untellable) adventures in the yellow oak-sprinkled foothills of Mt. Diablo. The oaks, though, along with the walnut orchards down in the valley, have all been leveled to make way for the great suburban migration. My family was part of that migration, but an early part, thus a part on the edge. Our house bordered wildlands. We kids, at least those so inclined, had access to a world of magic and dreams. Now the small towns in the valley have all grown together into one borderless mass. Only the profile of Mt. Diablo, the steady pole of my childhood's inner compass, remains.

I grew up intellectually, but not academically, inclined. That is to say, I studied, but rarely what was assigned at school. I scraped by, only really finding my place years later in graduate school. I pursued linguistics, after discovering that Language - not literature, not foreign language, but language itself - was a window on the human mind. I built my career in Japan on that, first as an English teacher, much later as a teacher of linguistics and American history. I've been in Japan over thirty years, now, raising a family and becoming rather Japanized in my ways. I've kept tabs on America with both the intimate understanding of an insider born there but also the perspective of an outsider. Dual sight has, I believe, been fruitful.

In any case, after 9/11, I applied my insider-outsider perspective to a search for answers to that tragedy. The result was first Globocop and then the first three volumes of an envisioned five or six volume history of America, a history written from a constitutionalist, somewhat libertarian, and always (I hope) sympathetic point of view. The great American experiment is in crisis but not yet buried. This is, I hope, my small contribution towards reviving it.

I have published a number of "real" books and academic papers in Japan dealing with language and English learning issues. The four here on kindle, though, are self-published. Many thanks to Kindle-Amazon for opening the world to indie writers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By B. Gibbons on August 11, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mark Ledbetter has hijacked my new Graphite Kindle DX through his excellent books. I haven't been able to read anything else.

Seriously though, I thought America's Forgotten History Part II was at least as good as Part I. As in Part I, I learned many things, particularly in regards to the Civil War, Mexican War, and Abraham Lincoln. I already knew that American history contained much propaganda, but I wasn't aware of the extent until I read Mark's books.

There is no boring part to this book. Even while he was covering presidents Van Buren through Buchanan the book was interesting and he kept my attention. I wasn't really interested in that era before but now I am (and I see why it is partly ignored today).

Anyway, after two homeruns, I will have to go check out his other book, Globocop.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C. Sato on April 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Wonderful book. Three quick impressions.

1. It's the first history book I ever read that caused me to laugh out loud on several occasions.

2. I found myself reading a few pages, putting the book down and thinking for about ten minutes. I hate it when authors make me do that.

3. It is obvious that Mark has great respect for the English language and uses it with care.

Pete the Railroad Guy
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By martyOgelvie on January 23, 2012
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I enjoyed reading this second book even more than the 1st. I came away feeling the North during the Civis War era was the evil empire.. I am not sure if that was Marks intent or the time line went that because he surely explained the evils of the South just as well! So many things simply got swept under the rug. Many things I knew about but not the finer details and many things I was clueless to. I try to keep an even keel. Mark definately exposed the Souths hypocracies as well as the Norths. Excellent read and a must for anyone serious about learning American History.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 26, 2012
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The book is well-written and researched. I tend to fact-check references and so far, all is well. The history we are used to reading is there but is padded with excellent narrative about the information around the well-known events. I like that the writer does add his personal slant but makes sure the reader knows that. He does not alter history but certainly enhances it. I have gained a better appreciateion for early 19-century history from this author. I would suggest that everyone read this book...and grab an old textbook to compare with and see how much more you have learned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gravity's Gone on February 21, 2013
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This is an excellent and thought-provoking work. The non-traditional perspectives on much discussed elements of American history, as well as the discussion of lesser known aspects of that history do much to dispel modern myths and shed light on the necessity of perpetuating these common myths as mainstream historical fact. Widespread understanding of these non-traditional perspectives based on Enlightenment principles would dismantle the straw man of evil capitalism perpetuated by modern academia, and would expose the intellectual slight-of-hand tactic of attacking government collusion they re-package as capitalism (then proposing to solve the evils with more government collusion). More importantly (I believe) this book is an indictment of the horrors and consequences of military interventionism, and accurately details an inconvenient (for the modern left) truth of imperial military interventionism. That is, many of the ideological foundations that the modern left hold dear to their vision of ideal government - powerful centralized government, intrusive taxes, Keynsian style monetary policy, and a powerful executive; are the unconstitutional enablers of the exact type of military policy they portray to object. Without unchecked power and control over the money supply, governments are limited to fighting only defensive style wars. Many of our ancestors were very aware of this now lost enlightenment principle, which created difficulty for those in power who wished to wage war. This book reintroduces those philosophies, and how they were laid aside leading up to and during America's Civil War. The myths attached to modern histories of the financial system are also looked at from the same sharply honed perspective.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By no card on file on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a footnote reader. I keep two book marks in a text to ease the flips back and forth. I expect author/analysts to back up assertions with some source. Most claims in the book are easily verified, but certain passages become polemics. For example, around page 104 Ledbetter wants to show how govt. programs, even successes like the Erie Canal, are actually damaging to the economy. He points out that the damage they create(lost jobs in excess of any gains) is often remote from the cause(govt.picked winners)and therefore hard to recognize. I anticipate some real world statistics, some correlations even, to show how Ledbetter ferrets out those inevitable bad consequences- but they are not enumerable, remember? In the end, he offers the many costly failures of other public projects inspired by the canal success. So we should hold back successful works lest they inspire others who try and fail?? As I reflect on the massive corruption and incompetence in just my state and local governments(Erie Canal cities,incidently) I find myself wanting to agree.

He claims not to be A historian. I think what he really is is a philosopher who knows history. The quality of the writing and editing is top shelf. The authors biases are clear and the book reads best when he lets the facts of history make the case. His Libertarian perspective cuts like a knife through the buttery mythologized history our mass indoctrination system serves up. After I finish vol.1, I will be looking up some of the books he recommends in his bibliogrophy while I wait for him to produce vol.3.
Beyond the education the book has given me, it has a pure entertainment value also. A page turner I could not put down. I feel as though I owe the author more money.
In his Amazon author profile, Ledbetter writes, "I pursued linguistics, after discovering that Language - not literature, not foreign language, but language itself - was a window on the human mind." When he writes THAT book, I will be first in line.
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Vol 3
I am trying to find this same thing out. Please let me know when you find out.
Dec 28, 2012 by Kindle Customer |  See all 3 posts
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