Culture, Politics

How We Reclaim Our Roots

American history has become a battleground. Nikole Hannah Jones, the creator of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, has bragged about getting a Notre Dame history degree without taking a single European history class. Reading her takes on American history, it’s not clear that she took any classes about that either. Nevertheless, Jones’ ethnonarcissist and buffoonish “everything is about racism” take on American history has become the mainstream narrative. Even before George Floyd took his last fentanyl hit, the 1619 Project had become public school fodder in Chicago, Buffalo, Newark, and Washington D.C.

But the battle goes well beyond school textbooks. Visit a bookstore or take a class at a university, and you will be bombarded with content that reflects America’s particular neuroses of the present. Of the past fifteen Pulitzer Prizes in History, nine went to books that that were fundamentally about the history of black/white relations in America. When politics is the top priority, it’s unsurprising that the books themselves are often dull, and the scholarship half-rate.

But there’s good news: America wasn’t always so nuts. Not only does America have four hundreds years of history to be proud of, but it has plenty of great history writers too. And while most of these great writers have died, their work remains. Read more…

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