Wednesday, January 17, 2007

All over the map

Please do me the favor of reading my comment in the MLK post about the difficulty of using a complex historical event or figure to justify a sweeping statement. Then do me the additional favor of reading this short piece by (my favorite whipping post) Victor Davis Hanson.

Shorter Hanson: "President Bush must become a Lincoln/ Wilson/ FDR/ Truman/ Nixon to ensure that there be a Sherman/ 1918 summer offensive/ Eisenhower/ Ridgeway/ Abrams to get us through this potential 1864/ 1942/ 1951/ 1969. Did I mention that I'm a historian? Did I also mention that I'm the worst political commentator in the history of the written word?"

The man gets paid by the simile, I swear.

2 Comments:

Blogger Robot said...

No one makes history look dumber sometimes than VDH and Niall Ferguson. When they do actual history (like in books, for example) it often comes out far better than expected. As for opinion pieces -- I think between the two of them they write for close to 38 magazines, think tanks, and newspapers a week -- they're usually trite pieces of shit. Most of the time, I think they're 2 hours before a deadline, freak out, and do some kind of "pick an historical event out of a hat" and make some facile, superficial connection between that time and now. If the connection's too weak, they won't even worry about it. For example, a summary of last week's Ferguson article: A financial crisis happened at the onset of WWI. It could happen again! Sometime! Soon!

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