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The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History Paperback – Unabridged, January 1, 2004
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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
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More About the Author
My wife and I have four young daughters and live in Topeka, Kansas.
My full biography can be found at www.TomWoods.com/about. My upcoming appearances, in addition to plenty of free audio, video, and articles, are also available at my website.
Top Customer Reviews
I like the criticism that Woods condemns Woodrow Wilson and his decision to enter WWI. Is there anyone around still defending that decision? Hilarious. I also like "Woods blames the Great Depression on liberal social programs." Woods actually blames the Federal Reserve for the Great Depression, and Hoover and FDR's interventionist policies for making it so long. So what that a zillion other scholars are now saying the same thing. To a liberal today, this is enough to make you an "extremist," regardless of the evidence you have in your favor or the credentials you can boast.
I don't see any page on which Woods defends an abstract "right" to hold slaves. That would be a strange position for a libertarian like Woods to hold. But this is the kind of hysteria and irrationalism you can expect when you dare, like Woods, to ask serious and important questions. Even worse is that Woods is obviously quite prepared to ask and to answer these questions. He is a Harvard Ph.D. and holds his other degrees from Columbia. So instead of carefully answering Woods, he needs to be crushed, smeared, and destroyed. That is how these enemies of the truth operate.Read more ›
Those readers who consider themselves liberal will hate this book because it skewers many left-wing sacred cows. However, Woods also takes many conservative icons to the wood-shed as well, including Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Those reviewers who say that Woods has written a one-sided attack on 'liberals' in history must not have read the book.
I was very familiar with many of the arguments and positions raised in this book before it was published. I have read several of the books that Woods cites in his bibliography. The chapters on the Civil War and Reconstruction, The Great Depression and New Deal, and JFK and LBJ are particularly well done.
It's amusing to read some of the scathing reviews of this book--almost all of them are groundless. None of the ones I perused raised any significant challenges to his facts. It would be difficult to do so, since Woods is presenting well-documented information. From the perspective of a fellow historian, there's nothing actually new in this book--it's merely a compilation of facts and data that most readers are probably unfamiliar with.
One is certainly free to support the more 'politically correct' history that you can find in every library and textbook in America. What Woods has done is compile some of the historical facts pushed out of those books in the name of political correctness, as he calls it. It creates a counter-point to the history most of us are used to seeing.Read more ›
Woods knocks off one myth and misperception after another - the Puritans "stole" Indian lands; and my favorites, as a long-term student of economics: Herbert Hoover "did nothing" about the market crash (he did way too much and hastened a depression); FDR changed all that (he continued and expanded on Hoover policies to give us another 10 years of depression), and so on. None of this should be news but apparently it is and that's why we need a book like this.
Moreover, Woods presents it - even some of the more arcane constitutional issues - with remarkable clarity. He has a facility to put facts in the context of contiguous events as well as fast forwarding to the "PC" of today. There's no sugar coating here. We see some of our treasured ideas and men - warts and all. You probably won't "agree" with (perhaps I should say like) all his findings (I didn't).
The organization of the book with highlights, bullet summaries and sidebars adds to comprehension and recall. While I found a few nits to pick here and there they are too insignificant to lower the rating of the book. Buy it. Read it! And have your kids read it when they study American history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
tons of hate facts about American history that piss off social justice warriors , if you suffered through a PC history call in school you really need this bookPublished 2 months ago by D
Perfect book if you a card carrying member of the NRA and KKK. The book claims that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ray D. Ator
As always Tom Woods debunks the popular myths that are regurgitated by our faculty and education system and sheds some TRUE light on the important misconceptions of American... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christian Loew
History teachers (government agents) will hate this book. It will make them rethink their university courses.
This book combined with Richard J. Read more
This is an interesting and somewhat useful book with one glaring fault: It does not document the claims it makes. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hal Lillywhite