A conservative historian examines some of the pivotal, yet often ignored, moments that shaped our history
All students of American history know the big events that dramatically shaped our country. The Civil War, Pearl Harbor, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and 9/11 are just a few.
But there are other, less famous events that had an equally profound impact. Notable conservative historian Larry Schweikart takes an in- depth look at seven of these transformative moments and provides an analysis of how each of them spurred a trend that either confirmed or departed from the vision our Founding Fathers had for America. For instance, he shows how Martin Van Buren's creation of a national political party made it possible for Obama to get elected almost two centuries later and how Dwight Eisenhower's heart attack led to a war on red meat, during which the government took control over Americans' diets.
In his easy-to-read yet informative style, Schweikart will not only educate but also surprise readers into reevaluating our history.
Some events spotlighted in this overwrought right-wing screed, like Martin Van Buren's redesign of political parties in the 1820s and the Dred Scott decision, were genuine historical watersheds. Others, like the Johnstown flood and President Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack, an alleged milestone in government "dietary nannyism," maybe not. What unites them is the theme that historian Schweikart (48 Liberal Lies About American History) reliably extracts: the federal government is incompetent and corrupt, and the founders would have abhorred its modern initiatives, from arts funding to disaster relief to the food pyramid. Some of Schweikart's arguments, like his contention that Dred Scott precipitated the Panic of 1857, are intriguing and plausible, but his conclusions run to rabid anticollectivist sermonizing, e.g., "throughout history, all inventions, all major decisions have come down to a single person." (Take that, Constitutional Convention!) His credibility is undermined by factual misstatements ("In 2003... the world was already reaching its population peak"), paranoid hyperbole ("beneath the obesity hysteria was a deep hatred of capitalism"), and obscure mutterings about " the Lysenkoist man-made global warming' nonsense" and the " other shooters' " sighted at President Kennedy's assassination. Schweikart's tea party serves up an iffy blend.
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Nothing but Conservative propaganda.