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Thread: Why aren't Hakim's books liked?

  1. #1
    I enjoyed Hakim's earlier books used in TOG. We have just finished W24 with the closing of the Civil War. The primary resources I had for LG and UG did very little discussion on the battles, so I ended up getting "War, Terrible War" from the library. I have only read a very small portion of it in the closing chapters, but I again found myself liking her style. Can somebody tell me what specifically about the Hakim books caused them to not be a TOG resource for the Civil War? Reconstruction?

    Not being too much into war and battles when I was in school has meant that I'm having to relearn my Civil War history, too. I know I'm approaching these books as a learner myself, so I really appreciate other's input!

    Deanna

  2. #2
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    Here's a big, book by book review:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~bkwormtoo/id1.html

    In my reading of her, I've found little details that have to do with religion are often handled oddly.

    In a thread on the book TOG does use. I said this of Hakim on the chapter dealing with the LDS faith, " It's interesting to me that neither Hakim nor Marshall mention what I see as the biggest problems at Nauvoo: the building of a large milita by the LDS and the destruction of a free press that was publishing information against Smith. In the case of Hakim she implies that discrimination against the hard working LDS members was due to polgamy while historically we see that it wasn't until they left Navoo that this policy became public (although some did practice it at Nauvoo). "

    I also agree with some Amazon reviews of her books that indicate they are difficult on occasion to read because of the numerous out takes. I also find on occasion that she'll start a chapter and change topics mid stream which can be a tough thing as well.

  3. #3
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    I don't care for Hakim's books because they are riddled with her bias. The last half of the series are the worst offenders. For the Civil War era, she has strong Northern bias. It was very obvious and extremely frustrating for my dd several years ago. Sonlight uses her books for their Core 100 and has numerous notes countering her biases. It is evident either in how she phrases things or in what she chooses to leave out. I don't have as much of a problem using them for older students with discussion, but not for younger students(like UG) who haven't developed the capacity to recognize opinion or bias vs. fact.

    I also agree with Amazon review about the numerous out takes.

    TammiK

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies. Thanks especially for the link, Pat not Pattie to the detailed review page. Extremely helpful. I don't know if any history book can be perfect, but knowing where it is skewed is valuable. Her earlier histories were very engaging and the "standard bias" of the school textbook was easy to spot and handle, and was expected, but didn't negate the usefulness of her information. The discussions on the later texts are very helpful to me.

    Thanks again to both of you for your comments.

    Deanna

  5. #5
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    As a family of living historians (a fancy name for Civil War re-enactors), my children and I have been very disappointed with the Hakim books. Her bias is quite evident. I have been careful to make sure that my children understood the reasons the southern states chose secession, and why the northern states sought to preserve the Union. An excellent book to use for UG, D, and R students is "The Civil War for Dummies". I actually used it as the framework for a co-op class I taught. Its completely neutral, pointing no fingers nor saying either side was right or wrong. It has an excellent review of the assets and strengths of each side, pre-war. It gives good summaries of the major battles, with an interesting section, at the end of each, entitled "Heroes and Goats. This section gives kudos to the commanders who showed valor and used their leadership skills to the advantage of their men. It also points out the preventable shortcomings of those labeled the goats of the battle. It has very clear maps and charts to go along with the summaries. After the chapters on the battles, there is a chapter about the "what ifs" of the war and reconstruction. It asks ten "What if...." questions, and then gives a hypothetical answer to each. Some questions have more than one answer, but all are perfect to use as discussion questions.

    I taught grades 4-12 in my co-op class, and had no trouble with comprehension in the younger grades. I even had a student's grandmother to sit in, and she went out and bought the book to use with his older sister, who didnt take the class. Having been in the re-enacting realm for over five years, this is the first book I recommend to anyone who asks about a good overview book for the Civil War.
    "Southern women see no contradiction in mixing strength with gentleness." --Sharon McKern

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by wilnrandasmom:
    As a family of living historians (a fancy name for Civil War re-enactors),
    I found an interesting Civil War resource which you maybe already familar with:
    http://civilwartalk.com/forums/

    They include a lot of re-enactors, but they have various forums to discuss points of the Civil War. On the threads I have read everyone is very respectful and they present copious evidence for their points of view which I respect. There's a whole forum for secession.
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

  7. #7
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    Hi ladies,
    In response to the original question...we don't use all of the Hakim books because, as has been mentioned, many of hers have bias that is not easily recognized by upper grammar students. Thus, we pick and choose among the ones in this series. I do encourage you also to read the Glance each week, in preparation for the week to come, so that you can have a heads-up in case there is something objectionable in the text.

    Blessings,
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

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