Previously posted was a list of worthy books… to purchase with your holiday money. It seems appropriate to offer caution with a list of writers (loosely considered historians) who may separate you from those precious holiday dollars. Some may say these are just the ramblings of a grumpy old man….judge for yourselves.
3. Newt Gingrich– The former Speaker of the House is financially sound (ask Tiffany’s) and has plenty on his plate these days. His niche is writing ‘what if’ histories in the form of historical novels. This blog holds the opinion that factual history is quite interesting on its own. All that is needed is a gifted historical writer to convey the story. Newt doesn’t quite fit the bill.
2. Paul Finkelman– Law and history are two similar disciplines; what separates them is historians can write. Finkelman is a law professor who dabbles in history. His work is scholarly but not very readable. Unless his subjects possess the qualities of Marcus Aurelius, Washington, and Martin Luther King, Jr., Finkelman will write negatively of them. His foolishly acidic criticism of Jefferson is telling.
1. David Barton– Is not an historian, and has admitted as much. He is an evangelical activist who wants the Bible to be part of public school curriculum. His mistake is using pseudo-history to justify his activism. If you believe our Founders were evangelical christians who intended the United States to be a theocracy, Barton may be your cup of tea. True students of history shouldn’t consider him after reading this account. See the previous posting about Glenn Beck and his ‘university.’