Friday, September 22, 2006

The Carnival of Bad History #9

Who does not know that the first law of historical writing is the truth?

God alone knows the future, but only a historian can alter the past.
Ambrose Bierce

Welcome to the Carnival of Bad History #9! I am Miland Brown of the World History Blog and I am pleased to host this edition of the only carnival on the Web which seeks to expose bad history on a regular basis. My thanks to Jonathan Dresner for allowing me to host this carnival.

And here we go...

The War on Terror

Over at Divided We Stand, United We Fall, MW argued in Iraq ,Vietnam, McNamara, Powell, McCain, Warner, Graham that sometimes historical comparisons between the Iraq War and the Vietnam War are appropriate. MW asks, "To whom will history hand the dubious honor of reprising the role of Robert McNamara in the Vietnam tragedy, for the current Republican production staged in Iraq? "

Anonymous Mike of Zonitics in Islamic Fascism wrote that the use of the term "Islamic Fascism" was an incorrect historical use of the word fascism.

How medieval are Osama and the other Jihadists? Carl Pyrdum of Got Medieval in History on Top, Crazy on the Bottom argues that using medieval analogies for modern terrorism is not good history.


Did a recent TV movie about 9/11 unfairly portray both President Clinton and President Bush? Jon Swift argued this in Conservatives Should Hate Disney's Path to 911, Too. I also am also relieved that Disney did not have "Scrooge McDuck play Osama Bin Laden."

Swift was not alone in questioning the historical value of this movie. Edward Cline in Pathetic 911 wrote, "That essentially describes The Path to 9/11: a shrunken, myopic lens focused on moment-by-moment actions and incidents, examining endless minutiae adding up to non-judgmental conclusions."

Joerg Wolf of Atlantic Review argued that German passenger Christian Adams was portrayed poorly in German 9/11 Victim Defamed in "United 93" Movie. How could anyone know how he acted during the doomed flight?

Other American History

Curzon of Coming Anarchy in First Contact disputed the Disney version of European-Native American first contact as depicted in Pocahontas. He also cites Jared Diamond from Collapse to explore the issue. Some of the people who commented on the post questioned his citation of the Japanese encounter with Commodore Perry as an example of a first contact.

Over at Hell's Handmaiden, themaiden attempted to refute those who claim that the United States of America was founded as a Christian nation in The American View: It is fun to use history for Evil. I do hope that the use of the word evil in the title is satirical though.

Brian Dirck of A. Lincoln Blog took issue with the current President Bush comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln in Dubbya's Abe (again). Are references to Christianity less appropriate for a president today than they were in the 19th century?

Qtex at refuted a blogger who was spreading around questionable historical facts about Texas in America Without Texas (and, Why the Lone Star is Necessary).

Jennie W. at Jennie's Rambles was angered to find a problematic history site on the web in Bad (Racist) History Rears Its Ugly Head. She was particular annoyed by attempts to make the Voting Rights Act of 1965 seem unreasonable.

Art work can sometimes pass around bad history. Tim Abbott of Walking the Berkshires in Can You Spot the Anachronism? argued that Don Troiani added an invasive species (Japanese Barberry) in a painting of the Battle of Gettysburg that did not appear in Pennsylvania until later.

Was John Hanson the first president of the United States? The answer is no but Michael Lorenzen at the American Presidents Blog provides coverage to The One and Only Presidential Museum which presents exhibits suggesting otherwise.

Historical Deniers and Revisionists

Sergey Romanov of Holocaust Controversies took on a holocaust denial analysis of the testimonies of Abraham Bomba, Eli Rosenberg, Adolf Berman, Kurt Gerstein, Franz Suchomel and Adolf Eichmann in An Ugly Analysis.

Sayaka of Sayaka Chatani writes of the historical documentary Ari no Heitai. The film deals with Japanese revisionism about the war in China, particularly the post-1945 anti-Communist movement.

Other Topics

Another Damned Medievalist wrote Here be Dinosaurs. It looks like some Christian homeschoolers are teaching that Beowulf features dinosaurs that survived the Noahic flood.

Phil Harland of Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean reminded us that the ancient Christians had no New Testament. This is quite a shock to some I imagine.

To the Future...

When can the tale of a supposed time traveller be consider bad history? It is when the first falsifiable prediction of the man proves to be untrue as I noted in John Titor, Fake Time Traveller. How come the American Civil War of 2004-2008 is not happening? Some commenters to the post argued that Titor did not mean war in the same sense historians (and almost everyone else) use the word.

And with that look to the future, I end this carnival and I thank you for visiting. My thanks also to the many people who submitted posts for consideration. I added every one of them except for the cleverly disguised medical splog post. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Bad History using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for including Ed Cline's essay on "The Path to 911" in your carnival.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks for the mention! I was kind of thinking that this would be a teahing carnival kind of post, but you're right! It's Bad History!

Radiopartners said...

Of course, some people also believe space aliens are too blame. However, no credible evidence has been presented to verify this theory.

FAO Miland Brown

I saw this on an article you wrote about the lost colony. Why would someone propose such an instance?

Geoff Elliott said...

Speaking of bad history, one always needs to be very careful to take what docents or guides say at museums.

I toured the old Illinois State House in Springfield two summers ago. The guide gave a tour of the building which is where Lincon gave his famous "House Divided" speech. She claimed that Lincoln was 54 years old when he died, when Lincoln enthusiasts know he was 56. I gently corrected her, but she "corrected" me back and told me I was wrong. After the tour, I asked her to do some basic math. :-) Let's see..born in 1809 and died in 1865. hmmm....