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January 12, 2014 - Harry Eagar
One thing I look forward to every Sunday morning (besides the newspaper) is Doktor Zoom's continuing serial review of two home-school American history books, called "Sundays with the Christianists."
I hope that when he finishes -- he's been at it for about a year and a half and isn't up to 1940 yet -- he will collect his essays in a book, although also including the valuable comments (which must number nearly 10,000 by now) might be a challenge.
I have been waiting for a good opportunity to recommend RtO's readers to this funny, accurate, insightful and vicious takedown of rightwing religious nonsense, and today's episode is it. Dok takes on the books' take on the Great Depression, noting:
"Now that grandparents who lived through the Depression are no longer around to pollute the kids’ awareness with any firsthand accounts, it’s relatively easy to feed them a straight diet of rightwing revisionist bullshit."
True for 13-year-olds in 8th grade, but I am 67 years old and my Mom just marked her 90th birthday last week and is happy to remember how things were. (She is also writing some of it down, something every great-grandparent or grandparent should do for his grandchildren.) So I can endorse Dok Zoom's viewpoint with independent evidence of my own.
Although this remark by Dok far understates the reality of today's rightwing nuts:
"Land I Love, on the other hand, stops just short of saying Franklin Roosevelt was a commie, and certainly reminds kids at every turn that the New Deal should be seen as “a big step into socialism” and that FDR’s policies were unnecessary interference in an economy that wasn’t really all that bad anyway."
Many -- some I know who actually lived though the Roosevelt presidencies and ought to know better -- are happy to claim that FDR was not merely a communist but under direct orders of the Kremlin. Possibly the preachers at Pensacola Bible College (producer of the book under discussion) are aware that there are some things a preteen will not swallow. Who knows?
Anyway, when you hear people bitch about the public schools and praise home-schooling, be aware that -- for a largish fraction of these victims -- this is the kind of idiocy they are being taught.
Since Dok is already mining nuggets from the books, I will not try to chip off smaller nuggets but recommend that you read the whole thing. The comments, always nasty and usually insightful, are particularly good this week, too.
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