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Posted: 2/16/2013 2:01:34 PM EDT
I am a history buff ( I live within a mile of the Brandywine Battlefield park). I got this book from my dad for Christmas. I think it must have been a garage sale find; it's beat to shit, but it is awesome.

It was purchased by Lewis W. Good on 12/29/1912 (he wrote it on the inside cover in pencil).

What I like about it is that there is no cringing moral ambiguity. The colonists and later the Americans are the good guys. It actually treats the Indians sympathetically, without excusing barbarity, and calling it such.

It is written in clear language, well researched and with none of the reflexive "you gotta see it from everybody's point of view...which are all equal, unless they're evil white males..." tone you get in every history book published since 1970 or so.

Refreshingly good read.

It is amazing what history reads like when it focuses on history and not apology or political propaganda.
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 2:33:35 PM EDT
Sounds good.
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 2:35:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/16/2013 2:37:26 PM EDT by raven]
Another good book like that is Astoria. It's free on Kindle. It's about John Jacob Astor's expedition to the west coast of America to settle a fur-trading community and developing his international trade routes, written by a contemporary chronicler.

Link Posted: 2/16/2013 2:46:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raven:
Another good book like that is Astoria. It's free on Kindle. It's about John Jacob Astor's expedition to the west coast of America to settle a fur-trading community and developing his international trade routes, written by a contemporary chronicler.



Thanks, I'll have a look. I love history, but it is so hard these days to wade though the crap to get actual "history". Instead of getting mellow, I'm getting less tolerant of the nonesense as I get older.
Link Posted: 2/16/2013 2:50:37 PM EDT
I like reading history from different eras, you can really watch opinion within the profession evolving.

The American Indians are a wonderful example- in early colonial textbooks they're bloodthirsty heathens who are better off dead, by around the US Civil War they're tough and occasionally admirable enemies, in 1900 they're a doomed race and it's a little bit sad that we killed the hell out of them, by the 50's that's gathered steam until we were morally wrong for genocide, in the 70's the environmental movement got a piece of the action and Indians are all of a sudden painted as noble protectors of the land killed off by evil white folk intent on defiling nature.

That was going quite a bit too far, in recent years the pendulum is swinging back, it seems. Some admirable Indians, some admirable white folk, some asshole Indians, some asshole white folk.
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