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11/08/2018 8:48 am  #1

On History

Last week I wandered into a book store in Asheville, NC. Yes there still are such things.
As I browsed I made my way, as I always do, to the American history section. There I took note of two new books about women during WWII, one about code breakers, and another about pilots. There was also a new book on the Tuskegee Airman, America's first black fighter pilots.

It made me smile with satisfaction to see these two perspectives on the second world war. If you are near my age (58) your knowledge of WWII was mostly confined to meticulously researched histories of battles, and biographies of the Great Men, Churchill, Patton, et al. Women were largely depicted as tending Victory Gardens and raising the kids. Blacks were invisible. You might say the same thing about writing of American history in general as it was once done.

If one thinks of it, every age writes history anew, reviewing deeds of other ages from it's own vantage point. The history people of my generation read in school was largely written by Protestant Englishmen, and Anglo-Saxon protestant American men. Many of them were brilliant. Most of them earnest as well. But, it would not be unfair to note that they were not always expansive redactors when it comes to the contributions of women or African americans.

This is not to accuse any historian of deliberate falsification. It's just that historians have their story to tell, and some may come to believe that their story is all there is to tell. Because of this, it is important - perhaps even essential - that woman and black historians come to prominence to tell their story. NOT to denigrate the contributions of the white men lauded in earlier drafts of history, but to add to the rich mosaic that is history.

Last edited by Goose (11/08/2018 8:51 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

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