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Posted December 6, 2009
Shoddy, Simply Shoddy
Is it possible to give a book fewer than one star? If so, I would nominate this book for that score.
The book has many serious problems. First, it is marketed as though it were an original piece of work. In fact, it is merely a collection of essays that the author wrote for various historical publications over the past many decades. (A small number are listed as "not previously published", which , considering the poor quality, likely means that no publication would accept them).
Second, the essays are symptomatic of the worst sort of political correctness. In them, we learn that American Indians were better Christians than the Christians themselves, and that the only true patriots were those opposed to the cause. We also learn the shocking fact that libraries are good! My, that was worth the cost of the book, wasn't it?
Finally, the writing is poor and the author's arguments are facile. To cite just one example, he finds it inexplicable that settlers would have disapproved of the Indians' idleness, claiming that their "non-materialism" was in fact the highest Christian virtue. Perhaps he is unacquainted with the Seven Deadly Sins, one of which is sloth. And this is a Princeton professor? I shudder for his students.
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Posted July 9, 2013
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