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text 2020-01-26 23:20
Fake History
Southern Independence : Why War - Charles T. Pace
FYI - this review might be triggering and I am not hiding this review because of spoilers.

Currently (1/26/2020) if you look this book up on Amazon, it is on the Kindle freebie best seller list. Furthermore, as of this writing, my one star review will be the only second one star review this book gets on GR. I understand that freedom of speech means the freedom of all speech, I wonder why Amazon would sell such a blatant white supremacy tract, or at the very least allow it to be sold as history. "Books" (and I use the term loosely) such as this are the reason why people hear others repeat falsehoods that are really racism about things like George Washington being a Rothschild and therefore, America is a Jewish state where rich Jews control everything. And surely, I do not need to explain the dangers of such lies.

If Dr. Pace (MD) ever reads my review, he will most likely dismiss it as propaganda put out by a Northerner. So yes, in the interest of full disclosure my family is from the North. On my maternal grandmother's side of the family, there is at least one ancestor who fought for the Union. My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were also immigrants to the US. The grandmother to leave behind prosecution, and the grandfather because that side of the family was Protestant in Catholic Italy. Additionally, one of the writers Pace quotes in the beginning of chapter (an epigram quote) was a professor of mine in college. Dr. Lukcas would not be happy to see his name in this book. (Lukcas was a demanding but brilliant teacher).

A list of problems and errors in this "book" are below and are the reasons why I view this book as a white supremacy tract.

1. Repeated use of the word colored to describe Afro-Americans.

2. It takes about a quarter of the book before the word slave is used.

3. No footnotes or in text citation for facts. Makes general statements with no support. The book is copyrighted 2015, btw.

4. Claims that black (he uses the word colored) children were better off pre Civil Rights and pre Civil War than in the modern era.

5. The author states that, as compared to the North, the South had few immigrants and those that did immigrant were quickly accepted and assimilated. (Strangely, he does not mentioning the lynching of Italian immigrants in New Orleans here, for one).

6. Apparently there was no one in American prior to the arrival of white people who, in the South, lived side be side with black workers in an Eden. My guess is that this is because the white people killed the native population but Pace does not mention that at all.

7. Calls what happened to the South during the Civil War a holocaust. And apparently America is a facist state.

8. The author believes all major newspapers work for the Dems (so he hasn't read the Wall Street Journal I presume).

9. Believes that the South was better because the people of the South followed the morals of the aristocrats. (So no reason for a revolution then, am I right?)

10. uses experts in one subject as experts in any subjects.

11. The author does not grammar well.

12. Huge misreading and misrepresentation of Hawthorne's words and works. Though why the author is citing Hawthorne, a romantic. Pace considers romanticism to be one of the evils that humanism gave birth to. (and yes, he lists feminism there as well).

13. Refers to the south as an abused minority and the goal of the Confederate states was to gain "freedom from slavery". And Davis didn't free his slaves because?

14. Implies that slavery had nothing to do with money, except for when he argues that the slaves had it good because they were an investment. (so the documented whippings, killings, and rapes were what?)

15. No mention of Fort Pillow, West VA, or Wilmington, NC.

16. He blames Anthony Johnson twice for the bringing slavery to America. Johnson was a forced indentured servant (i.e slave) who gained his freedom, and afterwards owned slaves (including his son, so the story is more nuanced than Pace would have you think). But yes, Pace blames slavery in America on a black man.

17. He has a tendency to add zeroes to numbers. For instance he says Boston's population was 250,000 when it was 25,000 and that 30,000 white people were murdered during the Revolution in Haiti, it was really 3,000-5,000, mostly French whites. Once might be an honest mistake, but twice?

18. He says that the white people who were killed in Haiti was a tragedy but does not mention the over one million Africans that died during the Middle Passage. It seems to Pace that it is only a tragedy or holocaust when white, Christians die.

19. The South only got slaves because the North sold them to the south.

20. Implies that the whole slave trade stopped in 1808, when it was only the legal, international slave trade. And no, he does not mention the fact that people still illegally brought slaves from Africa to the US.

21. Says that servants in the North were not family to their employers in the same way that slaves and owners were in the South. Of course, another difference would be that servants got paid and slaves didn't, but he doesn't mention that.

22. South was more Christian than the North because it had fewer immigrants.

23. Says that the slaves in America were treated better and it was better for them to be slaves. Because you know, if they had not been stolen from their homes, they would not have been Christian (at least I presume that is reasoning).

24. Claims that Northerners lived on top of each other but didn't know each other, while Southerners lived far apart but treated each other like family. This is uncited and makes no sense.

25. Claims that the South was peaceful with no fighting or rebellions. So Nat Turner was a dream? Also the work of Edward Ayers and others disproves this.

26. Claims that the leaders of the South during the war were farmers without much wealth. So Lee was a poor guy?

27. In the chapter on slavery, he says slavery is a red herring and then gives a red herring himself instead of attempting to prove his thesis for that chapter.

28. Claims that "slaves were not abused people striving to be free". Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, John Box Brown and others would like a word with him.

29. Repeats the myth about Lincoln and the Republicans trying to get slaves to kill masters. There is no proof for this claim. Additionally, Pace says the slaves didn't do it because they were happy.

30. He does not mention the difference between slavery in Africa and in the New World. The difference is important. He also blames the slave trade on Africans.

31. He claims that "any slave who wanted to go North could get on a train and go". Seriously WTF?

32. He claims that only 1% of the slave population were runaways but does state where the information comes from. (estimates of the Underground Railroad run between 40,000-100,000 freed, check out Gates).

33. Claims that the slave testimonies that were collected during the depression all have slaves saying how much things were when they were slaves. This is a lie. I've read several of those testimonies, they are easily available.

34. believes that slaves were better off than workers in Europe and the North. (Because they had houses, I guess. I don't know. He doesn't even try to explain that statement).

35.He says to try to change others (i.e. society) is the devil's work. This makes me wonder why he can support the American Revolution because of change.

36. Doesn't mention Dred Scott as a reason why the flight was to Canada. Implies that the North kicked all free blacks out to Canada.

37. Writes, "slavery did not cause secession but abolition did" - but then says everyone opposed slavery. This is very confusing.

38. Claims that under 500,000 slaves were brought to the US. Estimates are actually 500,000 to 650,000.

39. Neglects the fact that the lack of medical care led to a great many deaths in the Civil War.

40. There is this gem of old time racism, "From 1709 forward, Virginian Government petitioned to abolish slave imports but was overruled by London and Boston power. All people realized that slavery, and a race so numerous, so different, so primitives was a problem and slated to become a worse problem." It would be one thing if he was saying this was what people thought, but how it was worded implies more than that.

41. Claims that abolition only started in 1830 and that between 1700-1800 there was no abolition. This disregards the Quakers as well as the fact that Vermont (1777) and Penn. (1780) outlawed slavery. It also overlooks rebellion.

42. He mentions a Smithsonian article that calls Sherman's march a great environmental disaster, one of the worst in the country. But I looked and couldn't find such an article on the Smithsonian website from the year he cites (1996).

43. When he discusses how bad former slaves had it after the Civil War, he cites white women who were former slave owners only. There is no mention of the mass amount of lynchings that occurred after the Civil War. He only says that the former slaves were thrown out to starve, freeze, and become ill.

44. Claims that Seward said Lincoln never spoke the truth. His proof is this quote, "All his words were to a purpose" that Seward said when describing Lincoln. Not quite the same thing as lying.

45. He gets the history of the Cotton Gin and Kansas totally wrong.

46. Claims that all historians see altruism as the start of every war, but that they don't want to admit it (so how does he know?)

47. says Lincoln never thought about the horrors of war. This is wrong. Lincoln spoke about the horrors of the war and how evil war was.

48. Apparently Lincoln was a big cheat during the election.

49. He mentions Samuel Johnson for some reason but for the life of me I don't know why.

50. Says Polk and Tyler were two of the best Presidents. First time, I've heard this.

51. When talking about the Confederate invasion of PA, he writes, "it may not have been peaceable but it was peaceful" and that the Confederates hurt no one. Elizabeth Bulter, among others, disagrees strongly.

52. Claims Longstreet hooked up the Grants. (Longstreet was a distant relative of Julia Grant, not the cousin that the author states).

Seriously DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!
 
 
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review 2019-08-16 19:43
Which toy shall rule them all?
Toys Go Out - Emily Jenkins,Paul O. Zelinsky

Toys Go Out is a middle grade novel that follows 3 toy friends that come to life when their little girl goes to sleep. Lumphy (stuffed buffalo), Sting Ray (dry clean only), and Plastic (a bouncy ball) are the main characters with distinct (albeit simple) personalities. The primary story revolves around the desire to be the toy that gets to sleep in the little girl’s bed at night (sound familiar?). Some of the adventures include a trip in the washing machine and being grabbed by a garbage shark (maybe the best descriptor of a dog ever) at the beach. I’m not sure why I thought reading another book about toys coming to life was going to be a vastly different reading experience from The Doll People. [Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.] However, if you're looking for a fairly straightforward reading experience for your 10-12 year old then this will fit the bill nicely. 5/10 because I love a good sarcastic toy.

 

Topics discussed: insecurities, search for identity, and finding your place. 

 

What's Up Next: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer with pictures by Josee Masse AND Locomotive by Brian Floca

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2019-07-02 20:35
BL-opoly: Independence Day Extra Rolls
Dshamilja - Ulrich Matthes,Chingiz Aitmatov
The Night Visitor - James D. Doss,Romy Nordlinger
South Riding - Winifred Holtby,Carole Boyd
Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match - Wendy Moore,Rachel Atkins

Hooo boy.   So, it turns out my  Independence Day extra rolls are sending me right around the board.  Doubles, novelty cards ... Anyway, here we go:

 

I just finished my current read, which was for square 2 ("Who?").

 

 

My first roll, starting from there, sends me to square 9: The Stay-Cation -- read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library, or a park, or whose author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.  My selection for this square is Chingiz Aitmatov's Jamilia.

 

 

My next roll are doubles, sending me to square 12: The Robot -- which I pocket ...

 

 

... and roll again twice; once for the doubles, once for having landed on a novelty card square.

 

 

The first of these rolls sends me to square 18: Mountain Cabin -- read a book set west of the Mississippi, written by an author from that region, or considered part of the Western genre.  What a great opportunity to catch up with one of my recently-discovered favorite mystery series: My pick for this square is James D. Doss's Charlie Moon mystery no. 5, The Night Visitor.

 

 

My next roll moves me on to square 20: The Lake House -- read a book featuring a dog, with a dog on the cover, or set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.  I'm going to bow to Moonlight Reader's greater wisdom here, since she read it earlier this year, but given that Winifred Holtby's South Riding is set in rural Britain in the first half of the 20th century, I am fairly hopeful that at least one dog is going to make an appearance in this book.

 

 

My final Independence Day roll turns out to be, once more, doubles, putting me on a square I know very well at this point, given that I am stopping by there for the third time in this game (and for the second time in a week): square 26: "How?" -- read a book that is science fiction or has the word "how" in the title.  Fortunately, I just downloaded a matching book, so I will be reading Wendy Moore's Wedlock: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match.

 

 

I roll again for the doubles ... which lands me on another novelty card square, the Scottie dog --

 

 

-- so I get a final roll for having landed on a novelty card square, which ultimately gets me to "GO" ... which, somehow, seems like a very fitting conclusion to this whole set of manoevers! 

 

 

Now just imagine I had decided to just get those extra rolls out of the way quickly before going to bed!  I am really glad that I didn't ... I'd have  been up until the wee small hours getting all of this sorted!

 

Anyway, here's how the whole thing plays out on the card:

 

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review 2019-06-15 10:20
Creature/cosmic horror, a great protagonist, and a fascinating historical setting
The Resurrectionists (The Salem Hawley Series) - Michael Patrick Hicks

Wow! I read and reviewed another novella by Michael Patrick Hicks not so long ago (or at least it remains very fresh in my mind), and I’d read great reviews for this novella as well, so I knew it would be good. In this novella, like in the previous one, the author manages to pack great (and pretty scary) action scenes, to create characters we care for, and to bring depth into the proceedings, with a great deal of sharp social commentary, all in a small number of pages.

This novella also combines elements from a large number of genres, and it does it well. Yes, it is horror (and “cosmic” horror fits it well) but that’s only the beginning. We have historical fiction (the 1788 Doctor’s riot, which took place in New York as a result of the actions of a number of medical students and their professors, known as Ressurrectionists [hence the title), who robbed graves to get bodies for study and experimentation, disproportionately those of African-Americans, was the inspiration for the whole series, as the author explains in the back matter); elements of gothic horror (fans of Frankenstein should check this novella out); some of the experiments brought to mind steam-punk, there are monsters and creatures (Lovecraftians will definitely have a field day); a grimoire written in an ancient  language with fragments of translations that brings the occult into the story (and yes, secret societies as well)… All this in the historical background of the years following the American War of Independence, characters traumatised by what they had lived through, and an African-American protagonist, Salem Hawley, who has to deal with the added trauma of past slavery on top of everything else.

The story is narrated in the third person, mostly from Hawley’s point-of-view, although we also get to see things from the perspective of some of the less savoury characters (not that anybody is whiter than snow here, and that ambiguity makes them all the more real), and it is a page turner, with set action pieces and scenes difficult to forget. The rhythm of the language helps ramp up the tension and the frenzy of some of the most memorable battle scenes (we have memories of real battles and also battles against… oh, you’ll have to read it to see), which will be very satisfying to readers who love creature/monster horror. There are also some metaphysical and contemplative moments, but those do not slow down the action, providing only a brief breather and helping us connect with the characters and motivations at a deeper level.

I guess it’s evident from what I’ve said, but just in case, I must warn readers that there is plenty of violence, extreme violence, gore, and scary scenes (especially for people how are afraid of monsters and strange creatures), but the monsters aren’t the only scary beings in the story (there is a scene centred on one of the students —the cruellest one, based on a real historical character— that made my skin crawl, and I think it’s unlikely to leave anybody feeling indifferent). Also, this is the first novella in a series, and although the particular episode of the riot reaches a conclusion, there are things we don’t know, mysteries to be solved, and intrigue aplenty as the novella ends (oh, and there’s a female character I’m very intrigued by), so people who like a neat conclusion with all the loose end tied, won’t find it here.

I have also mentioned the author’s note at the end of the book, explaining where the idea for the series came from, offering insights and links into some of the research he used, and also accounting for the historical liberties he took with some of the facts (I must confess I had wondered about that, and, as a doctor, there were scenes that stretched the suspension of disbelief. Fans of historical fiction might take issue with the factual inaccuracies if they are sticklers for details. Perhaps a brief warning at the beginning of the book might put them at ease, because I think that moving the note to the beginning could detract from the element of surprise and enjoyment). I was fascinated by this historical episode (I was more familiar with the body snatchers exploits in the UK), and I’ll be sure to read more about it.

A thrilling story, well-written, packed with action, creature and cosmic horror, a great protagonist and a fascinating historical background. I can’t wait for part 2!

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an ARC copy of this novella that I freely chose to review.

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url 2019-04-13 18:20
A to Z Essays

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