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Mar 31, 2007 9:16 am

Saturday Notes

Jerome S. Handler and Michael L. Tuite, Jr.,"Retouching History: The Modern Falsification of a Civil War Photograph," March 2007, examines a photograph that is marketed at (scroll down). It is said to be a photograph of"the 1st Louisiana Native Guards: Members of the first all Black Confederate Unit organized in New Orleans in 1861." Someone has apparently redressed African American soldiers of the Union Army in Confederate gray. There goes another prop from under the neo-Confederate mythology.

David E. Nye,"The Origins of 20th Century Progress," American Scientist, March/April, reviews Vaclav Smil, Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact; and Smil, Transforming the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations and Their Consequences. Hat tip.

Normitsu Onishi,"In Japan, a Historian Stands by Proof of Wartime Sex Slavery," NY Times, 31 March, looks at the work of Yoshiaki Yoshimi.

The best breaking news for historians of the civil rights movement comes, of all places, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yesterday, it released the report of its recent inquiry into the death of Emmett Till in 1955. The bulk of the 464 page report is an appendix that is a copy of the original transcript of the 1955 trial in which Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were found not guilty in Till's death. Shortly after the trial, Bryant and Milam acknowledged their responsibility for Till's death, but no subsequent charges were brought against them. Liberty & Power's David Beito and I assisted the Jackson, Mississippi, FBI office in picking up the trail to the transcript, which had been lost to researchers for nearly 40 years.

For their failures to appreciate the obvious analogy between Spartans and patriotic Americans and their recommendation of Gary Brecher's"Triumph of the War Nerd," our colleagues, Tim Burke and Scott McLemee, have re-invested their creds as"commies". Quaint, isn't it?

Finally, Day 2 at the OAH Convention.

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Grant W Jones - 4/1/2007

At least I watch movies before I review them, unlike your contributors.

Ralph E. Luker - 4/1/2007

Like, since you've read Nietzsche, Freud, Heidigger, Lacan, and Derrida, we can be educated by your recommendation of Windschuttle's formulae. Like, since Windschuttle's read them ....

Grant W Jones - 3/31/2007

And who influenced Derrida?

I think Keith Windschuttle's schema is helpful:

Foucault = Heidegger + Nietzsche
Lacan = Heidegger + Freud
Derrida = Heidegger + Derrida's style

From: The Killing of History, p. 197

Not that I think there's a dime's worth of difference between commies and the National Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP). Slightly different theory, same results.

Chris Bray - 3/31/2007

Don't miss the fact that Grant also called the commies in question "Post Modern deconstruction types who have based their entire careers ferreting out the hidden meanings of classic 'texts.'"

Commies and postmodernists go hand in hand -- we all know how much Derrida influenced Marx.

Grant W Jones - 3/31/2007

Ralph, sorry to have intruded upon your echo chamber.

Ralph E. Luker - 3/31/2007

1) Scott McLemee posted at Cliopatria and you called him a "commie";
2) Tim Burke also posted at Cliopatria and agrees with Scott McLemee;
3) You also called Tim Burke a "commie".
Otherwise, as usual, I don't regard the crap that you post worthy of reply.

Grant W Jones - 3/31/2007

Actually Ralph, I only called Scott McLemee a “commie.” But, thanks for the rare link.

The thesis that 300 is “A Fresh Triumph of the Will” must compel the invoking of Godwin’s Law. I’ll tell you what, if Scott doesn’t call Zack Snyder, Frank Miller, numerous reviewers who recommended the movie and millions of fans who enjoyed it ignorant-fascist-Nazis, I won’t call him a “commie.” Deal?

Although I must admit Scott’s logic is overwhelming in this case:

A: Nazis admired Spartan government and society.
B: Zack Snyder and Frank Miller allegedly admire Spartan government and society.
C: Therefore, Zack Snyder and Frank Miller are Nazis.

How can one argue with such a syllogism? Another example may help clarify the issue:

A: Hitler loved his dog.
B: Scott McLemee loves his dog.
C: Therefore, Scott McLemee is Hitler.

Well, there does seem to be a problem with this form of “reasoning.” Hint: there should be an actual connection between the major and minor premises contained within the middle term.


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