Thursday, March 29, 2007

Naturally George Bush Reads This Historian...

...what Andrew Roberts writes is completely wrong.

I was a European History Major in college (Medieval France and Renaissance Florence), so the accuracy of any book on history, of any era or place, is, for lack of a better word, sacrosanct. So, to hear Bush likes this charlatan really, well, doesn't surprise me, but makes me fear for out future (at least the next two years).

Just how much does Roberts get wrong in his "history" book? Well...

"The San Francisco earthquake did considerably more than $400,000 in damage. Virginia Woolf, who drowned herself in 1941, did not write for Encounter, which began publication in 1953. The Proposition 13 Tax Revolt took place in the 1970s, not the 1980s—an important distinction because it presaged Ronald Reagan's election in 1980. Michael Milken was not a "takeover arbitrageur," whatever that is. Roberts cannot know that there were 500 registered lobbyists in Washington during World War II because lobbyists weren't forced to register until 1946. Gregg Easterbrook is not the editor of the New Republic. "No man gets left behind" is a line from the film Black Hawk Down, not the motto of the U.S. Army Rangers; their actual motto is "Rangers Lead the Way." In a breathtaking peroration, Roberts point out that "as a proportion of the total number of Americans, only 0.008 percent died bringing democracy to important parts of the Middle East in 2003-5." Leaving aside the question of whether those deaths have brought anything like democracy to Iraq, 0.008 percent of 300 million people is 24,000—off by a factor of 10, which is typical of his arithmetic. If you looked closely enough, I expect you could find an error of one kind or another on every page of the book."

There are more example in the ariticle, so go and read for yourself.

via: Slate



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