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Kevin M. Kruse is Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University

Inclou el nom: Kevin M. Kruse

Crèdit de la imatge: Kevin Kruse in 2015 [credit: Miller Center]

Obres de Kevin M. Kruse

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Princeton University professor Kevin Kruse is one of my favorite Twitter follows. He regularly posts threads that bring the historical receipts to refute whatever the misinformation talking points of the day are on that woebegone social-media quagmire. And he does it with an engaging narrative style that even non-historians can follow, and a mocking wit that feels deeply satisfying even when you know it's likely having no effect on the grifters he's targeting.

With Myth America, Kruse and his fellow editor Julian Zelizer (also a Princeton professor) have gathered essays from noted scholars across the spectrum of American history to refute some of the pernicious myths (some might call them lies) that are repeated ad nauseam these days. The hot-button topics include myths about "American Exceptionalism," immigration in general and the American-Mexican border in particular, the success of the Depression-era New Deal social welfare programs, the claims of voter fraud that underlie ongoing efforts to curtail voting rights, the increasing violence of police interactions with communities of color, and more.

Zelizer's essay deconstructs the myth of the Reagan Revolution, while Kruse expands a topic on which he has expended many tweets: the so-called Southern Strategy that Republicans employed to attract racist white voters in the American South that over decades resulted in the complete flip of the party from the "party of Lincoln" freeing the slaves to the "party of Trump" courting white Christian nationalists.

I got my bachelor's degree in history so I found I had at least a superficial knowledge of most of the topics covered in Myth America. For me, the value was in the details, having the bare facts put into context and buttressed by plenty of hard historical evidence. Some of the topics, such as the one on "The Magic of the Marketplace," which delves into economic theory vs economic reality, were things I had heard without understanding for years, and I felt smarter for finally getting encough context to be able to understand the topic the next time it comes up in the news. But I think the authors provide enough context to allow even readers completely unfamiliar with a topic to gain an useful understanding of it.

I'm sure there will be people who dismiss this book as partisan, a piece of liberal propaganda. I found the individual arguments to be dispassionate and matter-of-fact, a welcome breath of fresh air these days. The citations of historical evidence from primary and other trusted sources provide a foundation of facts from which fair-minded individuals can start a discussion about interpretation.

I was fortunate enough to have both the ebook and the audiobook editions, and found it most effective to listen to the essays, with a break between each to process the information I learned. During that time, I would often consult the ebook to look up the footnotes and in some cases the charts and graphs referenced in the text in order to more fully understand the topic. The audiobook used several narrators who were generally fine if uninspired choices, although I was disappointed they didn't choose male narrators for the essays written by men and female narrators for the essays written by women. Instead both the male and female narrators seemed to be assigned more or less randomly.
… (més)
rosalita | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jun 11, 2023 |
God I wanted to like this book.
I suppose it was an enlightening bundle of facts.
It has no point of view of course. Or rather it has an NPR point of view which is essentially the same.
It stops way to soon (like nixon time for the well researched stuff) to be of any use today.
If it could have kept up giving the facts up til a few years ago it would at least have been useful.
It is easy to read it and hear about all the awful things the republicans did and think that the author obviously has a point of view against these things he describes but he really doesn't. Any trumpster out there could read this and think boy those republicans should have gone farther.
It is a Vapid book.
… (més)
soraxtm | Hi ha 7 ressenyes més | Apr 9, 2023 |
This book was a wonderful mix of much of the stuff I was "taught" in school, stuff I, as a card-carrying progressive, believe, and then the stuff that I don't agree with. It was a good book to listen to, but some of the narrators did a better job than others. It would be a better book, much better imho to read as a paper text, preferable hard back. It is too difficult to search back on bits and pieces.
kaulsu | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Mar 1, 2023 |



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