In short, she is perfectly positioned and qualified to update and defend the standard liberal account of American history.
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The narrative begins with great promise as Lepore describes the essential ideals outlined in the founding documents. She takes political history seriously and generally avoids the moral preening found in so many discussions of the American past. She makes thoughtful arguments worthy of discussion. Moreover, she rewards readers with genuinely interesting sentences and important ideas. But of course there are some facts and issues that may lead to some disagreement. She repeats old populist lies uncritically, gets the origins of progressivism wrong, and does not draw the proper distinctions between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
She whitewashes the beliefs and actions of Wilson, William Jennings Bryan, and Margaret Sanger and writes about the Great War as if no books on the subject had been written in the last 50 years. Her description of the s is likewise incorrect, as is her origin story of conservatism. Her description of conservatism does not begin with great promise.
Taft, and Calvin Coolidge did not share any political ideas. They did. Discussing American conservatism, she neglects its political history and creates a new origin story for it. On the history of American conservatism, Lepore, in the end, is better than almost any other serious liberal historian of the past several generations.
Four Noble Truths
At least she discusses conservative ideas. She fairly and accurately describes the founding of National Review as well as the ideas of William F. Buckley Jr. Unlike previous liberal historians, she recognizes the role of women in the Republican party at the grassroots level and in conservatism generally. But even as she does some things surprisingly well, she makes assertions and inferences that range from head-scratching to gob-smacking. Describing Republican politicians, she conflates anti-Communism with McCarthyism and writes outlandish things about Nixon, Eisenhower, and Reagan. Eisenhower was a tool of advertising executives out to kill universal health care?
Some may quibble with her assertion that understanding the plain meaning of the Constitution as written is a new idea. I know some conservatives who have made different arguments against the policy. Real conservatives should not be tempted by the lure of populist anti-liberalism. When you are defined by your hatreds, your enemy gets to define you.
She believes that liberals use facts and are objective. Her villains are conservatives and postmodernists. She defends the liberal establishment monoculture against the two forces she has seen threaten it. Postmodernists, with their attack on truth itself, undermined all authority in the academy. Conservatives pointed out cases of longstanding, obvious error as on the question of gun rights among liberals and thereby showed that some elites and experts held exalted social positions that perhaps they did not deserve. Elites do not appreciate being exposed as frauds. Lepore is clearly gifted, clearly hardworking, and clearly interested in intellectual honesty, and yet the book contains many easily disprovable assertions.
Which is a shame, because These Truths does contain many truths that need to be expressed. Her short history of the rise of relativism is spot on. College freshmen in did not cause our current crisis of national ignorance, now in its third generation. Students cannot know what they have not been taught.
Teachers cannot teach what they do not know. Blame professors and politicians for the takeover of history and political-science departments by leftists and postmodernists. The professors are and were politically motivated frauds; politicians and the American people let it happen. Of course most of the conservatives were eliminated long ago, through attrition and discrimination; the great change happened when the leftists drove out the liberals. Every grand, narrative history is a work of summary and simplification, so specialists could pick many nits in their particular areas or ask for more or less coverage of a given topic.
To communicate the truths of history is an act of hope for the future. Biography Author Profession: Writer. Links Find on Amazon: Daisaku Ikeda. Seuss , H. Mencken , Niccolo Machiavelli , Dale Carnegie. Quotes to Explore. Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen.
Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen Bradley Whitford. Motivational Life Love Hope. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller. Motivational Hope Faith Confidence. Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don't give up hope.
Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with happy, warm and genuine people. Tena Desae. They never stopped to ask why it was deemed important to stop the RDP election promises so desperately needed by our people and yet revert to a neo-liberal macroeconomic strategy dubbed Growth, Employment and Redistribution Gear. Basically, a self-imposed structural adjustment programme in line with the preferences of the IMF. Having to urge our people to endure a further five years or so of continued suffering and pain.
These Truths review: Jill Lepore's Lincolnian American history | Books | The Guardian
After all, our people were so used to it that we might as well, for the benefit of future generations. This, I reiterate, was successful. But Gear was jobless growth, I hear some of you screaming, which is not entirely true, but growth it was nonetheless. She also says the real tax revenues have effectively doubled since , which has enabled the government to expand social welfare. Now let me return to the empty coffers the apartheid National Party left us as a welcoming gift. What did they do, I hear you asking.
Well, sound and uncomfortable financial decisions were taken, such as not investing in energy supply infrastructure at the time, because we did not have the resources. Yes, it meant some blackouts years later, but if you ask me, it was worth it, because we could borrow some money on our terms to further invest in building the infrastructure years later, and we will soon see Medupi and Kusile power plants fully up and running.
In fact, according to another commentator, Amukelani Chauke:.
Statistics generally paint a picture of truth. Today, millions of South Africans have jobs and are able to access basic services such as water, sanitation and social grants are reaching more than 15 million people in need of assistance.
Fake memoirs, factual fictions, and the history of history.
The review depicts the strides the country has made since the dawn of democracy, and also illustrates the challenges that have been faced. The key actions of all these include:. Maintaining large-scale but sustainable public investment in infrastructure to facilitate economic growth, with improved maintenance and a well-defined financing strategy;. Improving the quality of basic education and substantially expanding higher and further education, linked to stronger ties between enterprises and Further Education and Training in particular, to provide the skills required by a growing economy;.
Truths of History, by Mildred Lewis Rutherford
Ensuring that regulations are implemented as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, without imposing unnecessary delays or red tape, to create a business-friendly environment;. Continuing to increase financing for industrial development and small and micro enterprise in the context of a strong industrial policy focused on bolstering employment and growth;. Improving energy security including through development of shale gas, while continuing more generally to take advantage of opportunities and minimise the costs from greening the economy;.