Tag Archives: History

History Is Written By…

The famous saying of the smug, especially liberal college types, is that history is written by the victors.

<sarc>That explains all those books written by various conquering barbarians, Mongols, et al. And that explains why we have all those modern history books cataloguing the various grievances of allegedly historically oppressed and ignored minorities.</sarc>

The truth is that history is written by those who can write (or, these days, get hired to teach and/or snag a book contract).

Must Read: How We Got to Today

One of the most important moves in reclaiming America from those who wish it harm is to understand exactly what the left is doing and how they are doing it.

I don’t often tag things as “Must Reads” but here’s one at American Thinker by Scott S. Powell, “The Quiet Revolution: How the Left Took Over the Democratic Party.”

It’s an accessible article, great for the reader that might not instantly recognize names like “Frankfurt School,” “Herbert Marcuse,” “Antonio Gramsci” or “Saul Alinsky,” but really should. Articles of this caliber usually are difficult reads and make/keep things far more complicated than they need be. Highly recommended.

A great takeaway is his quick summation of Edward Gibbon from “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”: “Gibbon described six attributes that Rome embodied at its end: first, an overwhelming love of show and luxury; second, a widening gap between the rich and the poor; third, an obsession with sports and a freakishness in the arts, masquerading as creativity and originality; fourth, a decline in morals, increase in divorce and decline in the institution of the family; fifth, economic deterioration resulting from debasement of the currency, inflation, excessive taxation, and overregulation; and sixth, an increased desire by the citizenry to live off the state.”

Sound disturbingly like America today?

I recently read Philip Freeman’s “Julius Caesar.” It’s remarkable how the late Roman republic seemed to lose its ability to govern itself, allowing for the rise of of the emperors. Many of the symptoms Freeman describes look familiar to things that happen today, often, though not exclusively, at the behest of liberals.

Elizabeth’s Women Followup

I’ve finished “Elizabeth’s Women” by Tracy Borman. Very enjoyable. It’s not a substitute for a solid Elizabeth I biography but it could be considered required supplemental material for anyone wanting to know more about Elizabeth and her times. It delves into an area not often covered in traditional biographies or standard Elizabethan histories.

Just one note, and most Elizabeth books and movies, carry the same feminist whine that Elizabeth was pressured to marry because she was a woman. This is simply untrue. A king would have been under similar pressure to marry as quickly as possible to produce an heir. How many bachelor kings can you name?

The one main suggestion I’d make is to add a genealogical table. Much of the book covers Elizabeth’s prospective rivals or threats to her crown but without being able to track them back, it’s hard to remember (or understand) why the Grey sisters, the Seymours, Stuarts, et al, received so much attention.

Riddle Me This

Riddle me this — if, according to Lincoln, et al, the Confederate states never seceded but were just rebelling against the central government, then why did they have to apply for readmission to the union after the war? If you never leave, how can you be readmitted? Why would you need readmission?

Oh, and for the public school- and elite school-educated folks: Tennessee was readmitted in 1866 (sorry, Andrew Glass at Politico, Arkansas wasn’t the first); Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina in 1868 (not all the same day but mostly in the summer); and Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia followed in 1870 (there’s some confusion as to which days they were let back in). Georgia was actually readmitted in 1868 or 1869 but kicked back out in 1869 before finally being allowed to stay in 1870.

You know, self-righteous, supersmart SJWs  and others (wearing your Che Guevara t-shirts), sometimes history can be a bit more complicated than it appears in a PSA, NPR story or on a recyclable paper coffee cup.

Paging Carl Clausewitz…

I really wish someone would track down historian Michael Beschloss and ask him whether he sticks by his c.2008 claim that Barack Obama was probably the smartest president evuh!

If this tidbit at Hot Air is not taken out of context, this has to be the dumbest, most soporific, most infantile thing a sitting president has ever publicly uttered – “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas.”

A mildly intelligent fourth or fifth grader could poke so many holes in that one. Any serious reader of history could possibly laugh so hard they might rupture something.

Oh, and King Barry had the nerve to utter that specious silliness at a Pentagon press conference, in front of actual soldiers.

Of course, Dear Leader would probably respond after he had been brutally mocked and even late night comics began to make fun of him, with, “Well, one of those better ideas would be to have a better army! So there! I’m right! Nah-nah!”

Tracy Borman’s “Elizabeth’s Women”

I’m currently reading Tracy Borman’s “Elizabeth’s Women,” chronicling Queen Elizabeth I and the women around her throughout her life. Great stuff. Yes, the endless references to poor, oppressed women not properly recognized for the abilities gets old but it’s a small price to pay.

I have an error correction – on page 139, she means Margaret of Anjou was Henry VI’s wife not Henry IV’s wife.

And I have a suggestion, note Kat Champernowne/Astley’s marriage earlier. The name Astley suddenly appears on page 92 while the noting of the marriage comes much later. It could be easily handled with a quick parenthetical without having to move the details from where they are now.