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Thread: Jeffersonian View of the Civil War

  1. #1
    I just read through the "Jeffersonian View of the Civil War" found in The Loom's Supporting Links for Year 3, Week 21 and although I find the viewpoint informative, I feel at bit at a loss as how to process the information. Are these people cited in the article well acquainted with the subject matter? It read a bit like an apologetic, and I feel I need a little input before I discuss this with my Dialectic level child. What approach have you taken with this article? Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    What an intersting conversation to start. First of all, be assured that these people are very very well acquainted with the subject matter. To grasp what the writer is trying to say overall, it is important to keep in the mind the big picture of his position. The last few years of homeschooling has forced me to become a better student of history, and reading articles that appear on this site has been beneficial, believe it or not! The writer's big points are (1) history has shown that slavery was ending, and would have been eradicated diplomatically, thus (2) the Civil War, an exceedingly bloody war, was unnecessary and the loss of so much life was a waste (as well as economically crippling for the whole nation), (3) slaves were freed to a life of poverty and restricted rights and liberties, not to mention the angry and vengeful southern whites out to crush them,and (4) the federal government under Lincoln began to exercise more of its central power and reduce the power of the individual states.

    A major point that our modern day sensibilities has a very hard time grasping and understanding is point #4, what the writer is talking about when he says America "ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign states." The heart of the matter involves the question of who has the most authority: the federal government, or each individual state. This debate has been around since before Washington's first presidency, which is when Thomas Jefferson wrote eloquently about the danger of a powerful federal government that can basically behave like a monarchy and restrict the rights of people, while Alexander Hamilton wrote about the need for a strong federal government to ensure unity and strength. Today we live under an enormously powerful federal government, and we can't quite grasp what it was like when America was a country where the individual states were able to make decisions about how life in their state would be lived. Why should people in New York state get to have any say-so about how Iowa farmers make their living? Why should people in Montana have a say-so in how to handle New England fishery populations? This is what the writer was trying to say when he said, "It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America." Today federal mandates limit how states can decide to use their land, run their businesses, and on and on. The states are losing the ability to decide what's best for their state as the federal government passing sweeping legislation meant to appease a particular lobbying group. My favorite example of the abuse of federal power is the draft. Lincoln issued the first federal draft, which resulted in rioting. In that step the federal government took on a pretty new and amazing power by claiming it had the right to force people from all states to become soldiers. And, remember, today simply not registering for the draft is illegal. The choice was don a uniform or go to jail. But, in 1918 the Supreme Court upheld the draft. I still to this day find it amazing that the Third Bill of Rights of the Constitution says that the armed forces cannot take your food and your beds, and yet the Supreme Court has ruled they can take your sons and daughters.

    Since that time the federal government has slowly but surely taken over things that were previously the responsibility of the states to decide. Why does that make a difference? Because states know what's best for them. The actions of the federal government in the last year show us how little we can trust the judgement of a huge central power seat!

    As homeschoolers, this issue is actually very important to all of us. Education was formerly a state issue ONLY. Each state decided how to educate, how to organize it, what standards they had, etc. Education is still a states' rights issue, but gradually the federal government is trumping them. No Child Left Behind is an example of the federal government taking away the states' rights to guide how their children should be educated. As homeschoolers, we each fight battles in our own state to protect our rights as parents (and in NH we are fighting one big battle this year!) If states lose their right to determine their education, then all homeschoolers would be subject to federal decisions regarding education. Considering the strength of the NEA, and the federal government's history of taking AWAY our liberties, not adding to them, that would be a big blow to our right to homeschool. GO STATES' RIGHTS!!

    The rest of the article raises interesting points regarding the necessity of the Civil War, and the real motivations. We today tend to think that it was mainly about ending slavery. But, from my readings at the time there was also a large states' rights sentiment. My aunt said she saw a Civil War memorial in Texas that said it was in honor of all who died defending the rights of the states. At first she was confused until she thought about it more. For them, that was a BIG DEAL. This article also brings up points about the tax revenue. Very interesting.

    At this point, let me also say the secession from the union was before the Civil War always a possibility and never questioned as being illegal. The slavery issue haunted America from the time the first Continental Congress met (John Adams makes great points). From the Continental Congress to the Civil War the slavery issue was always tiptoed around and sideswiped because it was understood that the southern states COULD secede, and nobody wanted them to. Lincoln suddenly decided that this secession issue was cause for war, when up until his time it had been cause for diplomacy. The diplomacy that took place before the Civil War always (or at least usually--I'm not exactly sure) led to a reduction in the rights of the southern states to have slaves. Slavery would have been outlawed long before the Civil War if the southern states had not possessed the right to secede. (BTW, even today there is a movement in Vermont to secede and join Canada. They recognize that seceding isn't unconstitutional.)

    The South could have prevented the Civil War if they had done the right thing earlier and freed their slaves. Lincoln could have prevented the Civil War had he not insisted that the states had lost their right to decide on the issue, and had worked towards ending slavery as William Wilberforce did in England.

    And as for slavery, I always find it a particularly telling omen for me. Looking back, I find it amazing that a whole group of people who went to church every week, called Christ their Savior, and even took the steps to evangelize their slaves, would find it so easy to close their eyes to the evil of their institution. Many slave owners recognized it was evil, but they really wouldn't do anything about it. Men will deny any part of Scripture if it interferes with how they make their $$$$$. Some people have written that since slavery was Biblical, it was right. I prefer the attitude of one writer who said that Biblical slavery never even began to approach to horrors of slavery as it was practiced in the South, where slaves were considered less than dogs and treated as such: beaten, families ripped apart, forced to live in filth that made the plantation stables look like palaces, starved. I wonder what thing in my life today I not just endure, but actually encourage and justify, because doing without it would make life "too difficult."

    Having lived in the South for many years, I can testify to the ongoing conflicts that trace their roots back to slavery. I can't say that this writer's position that the Civil War was a much worse way to end the slavery issue, and that it resulted in a miserable life for freed blacks that would have been handled otherwise had they been freed diplomatically, is right. But, I can say the battle still rages on!

    This sure is long, so I hope it addressed some of what you asked. To end with, be assured that this writer has researched what he writes about extremely well.

    Deanna

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Susan B:
    I just read through the "Jeffersonian View of the Civil War" found in The Loom's Supporting Links for Year 3, Week 21 and although I find the viewpoint informative, I feel at bit at a loss as how to process the information. Are these people cited in the article well acquainted with the subject matter? It read a bit like an apologetic, and I feel I need a little input before I discuss this with my Dialectic level child. What approach have you taken with this article? Thanks for your input.
    Allow me to suggest how to evaluate an article like this. First go up into the website's structure and look around the site. Look at the other material on the site and pay particular attention to the "about" page. You can even do a web search to find out what others say about the site or its authors.

    Next go down and look at the citations given. In this case, there are no citations in the article itself. This in my view is a huge red flag in any article. The few in depth scholarly histories I've read include citations in the order of 1/3 to 1/2 of the total volume of text. I've read books where tow lines appear at the top of the page and the rest of the page is footnotes. That's scholarly research well back up.

    The other thing to look at in terms of citations and references is where those references come from. Are they in peer reviewed journals or published by academic presses where fact checking occurs? Do they include references to works contrary to their view point. One of the best histories I've ever read debunked one point of view almost totally using that point of view's own works. Amazing! Mostly works won't approach this level. However a list of a variety of authors is a good thing to look for. On a topic like the Civil War there should be no trouble finding a huge list of authors from all points of view. Unfortunately this article fails this test as well. There are about five books cited but then only three key sets of articles by three authors. Many of the links take you to either the site the article is hosted on or to one other site.

    The other thing I like to do is look at Amazon and look at the customer reviews and in particular look at the lowest rated reviews. Most of the books had fairly low numbers of reviews but the two that did have high numbers had some good negative reviews, worth reading. Just remember that Amazon customer reviews don't have any great accuracy statement. What you will look for is a pattern in them that you see elsewhere.

    The next thing to do is to evaluate what the facts say in terms of facts that you are fairly confident in. For instance if you've used TOG year one you might want to evaluate this section in terms of ancient history:
    Up until the 19th century slavery in human societies was considered to be a normal state of affairs. The Old Testament of the Bible affirms that slaves are a form of property and that the children of a slave couple are the property of the slaves’ owner (Exodus 21:4). Abraham and Jacob kept slaves, and the New Testament says nothing against slavery. Slaves built the pyramids of Egypt, the Acropolis of Athens, and the coliseums in the Roman Empire. Africans exported 11,000,000 Black slaves to the New World – 4,000,000 to Brazil, 3,600,000 to the British and French West Indies, and 2,500,000 to Spanish possessions in Central and South America. About 500,000 slaves, 5 per cent of the total number shipped to the New World, came to America. Today slavery still exists in some parts of Africa, notably in Sudan and Mauritania.
    Does this presentation of slavery jibe with what you studied in that year? Does the slavery of the South appear to be the same as that of ancient times? Who were made slaves? Did they have to stay slaves? Could they buy their way out of slavery? Were their children slaves? Does what he say about slavery and the Bible truly summarize what the Bible's stance is on slavery. For instance I note that he says the NT doesn't speak against slavery but a reading of the book of Philemon might give you another thought on that. As would the verse about all being equal in Christ.

    You might also compare the more modern information to whay you know about human trafficing in the world today.There are slaves in the US right now. Does that mean that slavery is accepted in the US?

    Next, you'll want to read his arguments carefully and think about whether they include in logcial fallacies. One that is easy to spot are various ad hominem attacks sprinkled through the article.

    Finally, you need to find a source you trust who knows about the Civil War to look the article over. I did that. I had my dad look it over. For the record he's a retired college professor. He was not however a history professor he taught microbiology in the med school of Wake Forest. However, he's studied the Civil War for 5 decades reading many scholarly pieces. I gave it to him at a basketball game so he only glanced over the article and I don't know if he'll give me any more depth in writing later so I can only give you his off hand remarks. First he said it was full of half-truths and lies. He pointed to this early paragraph as an example:
    The war did enable Lincoln to "save" the Union, but only in a geographic sense. The country ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign states. Instead, America became a "nation" with a powerful federal government. Although the war freed four million slaves into poverty, it did not bring about a new birth of freedom, as Lincoln and historians such as James McPherson and Henry Jaffa say. For the nation as a whole the war did just the opposite: It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America, as historians Charles Adams and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have argued – Adams in his book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (published in 2000); and Hummel in his book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996).
    He agreed with the first sentences that in deed the idea of union came to an end with the Civil War however he felt this was something that had to come to an end much as the Articles of Confederacy were supplanted by the current constitution.

    In a similar way he wasn't impressed by the points made about the Emancipation Proclamation. Yes, it was made by the North after a tough time, but it was made after a winning battle. Further, as he succinctly said, "So what?"

    He also scoffed at one quote from Calhoun who he did not say very favorable things about.

    He also wasn't impressed by the short list of authors. Although the article did touch on this he did mention that a very old book written by a Southern may have been one of the root causes of the Civil War: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/helper/helper.html The man made a very good case that the South was being driven to disaster by slavery because slavery impeded their growth in industry. He also said that Helper was driven from the South after publication of the book.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinton_Rowan_Helper

    So that's all I have for now. I'll post more if my dad sends me anything, but since he's retired I try not to pester him. I also realize that there are those who will argue with this point of view, I don't want to get into a big debate here, but I do encourage you to research and read other points of view and come to a conclusion based on more data.
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

  4. #4
    Pat's response reminds me of something I should have emphasized in my earlier response and didn't. It would be a tragic mistake to thing that the article is in any way trying to justify slavery. Pattie's quote of the author's comments on the history of slavery reminded me of this. Since I'm familiar with the homesite of this article, I feel I can say with complete accuracy that the author's intent is not to justify slavery, but to condemn war. The articles on this site are overwhelmingly condemning of governments that send citizens to die in wars that are unnecessary. His paragraph stating that slaves have been with us since civilization began is followed by a paragraph that describes how slavery was eradicated by nonviolent means in England, and thus began its eradication in the Western hemisphere. The point is that slavery has been eradicated since the dawn of civilization by nonviolent means, so why not in America? When the state causes 600,000-700,000 men, many of them not serving by choice, to die in a war when the same outcome could have been achieved by nonviolent means, it is appropriate to ask questions.

    Again, I think this article is valuable to read. We all are aware of the fact that the history taught now, and the history we were taught, is so often at least biased, and sometimes wrong. I'm still amazed that most history books just say the Pilgrims came here to "escape persecution," or to "worship God," with no other mention being made of how their faith sustained them. Stressing the religious aspect of anything in history is absolutely politically incorrect these days. If religion is short-changed due to political correctness, then it's certain the Civil War is, too.

    The homesite isn't a peer-reviewed journal site and wouldn't contain detailed citations, as that isn't its purpose. Is the article useless then? No. It's actually a summation in article form of the material found in the books named, basically a book report. Citations wouldn't be included here. You can read the referenced books, or search for more information on the subject.

    Since it's politically incorrect, would a peer-reviewed journal allow a topic like this to appear in their publication? No. Politically incorrect views are pretty much exiled from peer-reviewed journals, whether it's DDT, global warming (not completely exiled...yet), intelligent design, etc. You can click on "LewRockwell.com" at the top, go to the bottom of the homepage, and do a "Civil War" search if you want to investigate more of that site.

    I would still strongly encourage you to learn more about the balance of powers between the states and the federal government, and how at this time the federal government began it's climb to become the colossal power it is today. I don't know why I complain: The federal government cares enough about me to regulate what toilet I'm allowed to buy, and makes it illegal for me to buy the finest raw cheeses everybody eats in Europe. They care about me so much, don't they? As the power of the federal government increases and the states decreases, we DO lose our liberties and freedoms. It's a valuable thing to learn.

    So, in light of revisionist history, I would personally encourage some thinking about some of the points the author makes. You might have guessed that I feel strongly about politics. If we were ever to meet, don't bring up politics, especially if you're on a tight schedule. This coming week I get to visit my statehouse and argue that the government doesn't have a greater authority than me to determine how I raise my children. Many of them disagree. I wish THEY would read some articles I could give them!

    Deanna

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by deannatoby:

    Since it's politically incorrect, would a peer-reviewed journal allow a topic like this to appear in their publication? No. Politically incorrect views are pretty much exiled from peer-reviewed journals, whether it's DDT, global warming (not completely exiled...yet), intelligent design, etc. You can click on "LewRockwell.com" at the top, go to the bottom of the homepage, and do a "Civil War" search if you want to investigate more of that site.
    While this is often thought by folks, it is an ad hominem attack on academic publishing.

    It also flies in the face of that amazing book I noted above, published by Carolina Academic Press.

    In this case it flies in the face of something my dad told me in passing a few weeks ago. A friend had asked for an overview of the Civil War. He recommended two, but of one, which he thought was out of print. But he said of it, it's one of the few overviews by a northern historian. Which implies an important point: historians on the Civil War must tend to be southern which flies in the faces of theme of this article about history being written by the victors. Having grown up in the south this doesn't surprise me at all. My experience is that Southerners are much more interested in the Civil War while the north has moved on.
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by deannatoby:
    The writer's big points are (1) history has shown that slavery was ending, and would have been eradicated diplomatically,
    I see no evidence of this. How has history shown that slavery was ending in the US? I see that it was expanding with each slave state that entered the union, rather simplistic I know; therefore, since the article doesn't expound on this point, can you shed some light on it? I'm curious.

    Thank you.
    __________________________________________________ _____________________________________
    Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim ~ Ovid
    For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison ~ Paul
    http://rivendellpress.wordpress.com/

  7. #7
    Just some quick points, but this is a topic which I haven't memorized statistics for, so I'm drawing from internet sources like Wikipedia. Also, I don't feel the articles greatest worth lies in its abilities to prove the path of slavery. But, some quick stats:

    (1) Slaves were originally legal in all colonies. Between 1780 and 1804 they were outlawed in the Northern States (note that is after the Revolution, which surprised me).
    (2) The slavery issue was already a hot topic at the Continental Congresses before the Revolution. It was even hotter at the congresses in which the Constitution was written. One of the constitutional comprises between North and South was to continue allowing slavery in the South, but to forbid the importation of new slaves from Africa, thus ending the awful passages of slaves across the Atlantic. If you watch "Amistad," the whole key to the legal argument in the slaves' favor was the fact that the transfer of them across the Atlantic was illegal in the first place. This didn't end slavery, but new slaves could only be acquired either by purchasing slaves already on American soil or by an owner's slaves giving birth.
    (3) Wikipedia says that tens of thousands of slaves escaped when it was learned that the British offered freedom to any slave that fought on the British side. In this same manner, abolitionist societies were also actively engaged in helping escaped slaves find freedom.
    (4) The one thing I know that contributed to the growth of slavery was the cotton gin, unfortunately. Before the cotton gin, it was getting to the point that the profits from cotton didn't cover enough of the cost of slaves, especially since it was illegal to go and get new slaves from Africa. Slaves were expensive. The cotton gin reversed that trend, which allowed slavery to take a stronger hold.
    (5) Along the lines of point #4, but in the opposite direction, the cotton gin was a product of the industrial revolution. I believe an argument made against the use of war to end slavery is that as the industrial revolution progressed on its own, it would have, or was already, making slavery unprofitable, as was happening in every other field where man's labor was involved.
    (6) The abolitionist movement was gaining members, not losing members. It was also growing in its effectiveness. Take, for example, what Harriet Beecher Stowe did to people's opinions. Their efforts were changing people's minds about slavery.
    (7) The number of slaves in the states was certainly growing, but the number of free black was growing as well. When compared to the whole population, the percentage of slaves was dropping.

    Does this prove anything? I don't know! The reason I like the article is not because it concretely shows how slavery would have ended, but because its basic viewpoint contradicts standard rhetoric. Again, I think the valuable points this article offers are (1) its questioning of whether taking the country to the point of war was wise, and (2) how the weakening of states' rights has eradicated our freedoms and liberties.

    Regarding the first point, conjecturing (which is all you can do) about how slavery might have ended is the first gut reaction to the article, because the topic of slavery is so abhorrent, especially as it was occurring in the South. As I get older, though, I'm finding it more and more valuable to ask questions about war vs. diplomacy. Young boys were drafted into service for the Vietnam War, and we shouldn't have been there. Why did the government send our young men over there to die? The given reason is Communism. But, we've lived right next door to Cuba, a communist state, and it hasn't had any effects negative enough to justify a war with Cuba. People may say that Communism is evil and we should fight it. It's evil, all right, but if you want to fight it you volunteer yourself to go and fight. Don't volunteer other people's children and sons and grandsons and brothers to go and die when it's not in defense of their own country. I'm really struggling with this war issue now. Based on what I'm experiencing, I appreciate articles that educate me in how to question our decisions to wage past wars. We were taught in school that all the wars were necessary, and nothing was ever questioned (with the exception of Vietnam, if history class ever got far enough to discuss it). I don't consider that to be the whole picture anymore.

    Regarding the second point, as the states rights have ended, so have mine. Abortion used to be a state issue. Each state could decide. Now millions of the unborn have lost their constitutional rights in the name of federal power. Education used to be a state issue. Now that's changing, too, and, as I said in an earlier post, as a homeschooler I don't want the federal government passing sweeping legislation to take away my homeschooling rights. It doesn't take a village, it takes a parent, so leave me be! I'm big into Constitutional rights. Now even the rights we took for granted, like private property rights, are even being eroded. Our pastors can't speak from the pulpit about politics without the church losing it's tax-free status. If I want my pastor to talk to me about his Biblical view of politics, whose the federal government to stop him? Why can't he talk as his congregation prefers?

    Again, the author's points about slavery ending can never be proven. But the article is still so very valuable. We were never taught the Jeffersonian view of anything in school. At my schools, NOT ONE JEFFERSONIAN VIEW made it into our textbooks or teachers' lectures. The Jeffersonian view is that the states should always be independent, with the central government's powers restricted and watched. Jefferson felt, and rightly as we are seeing, that once the federal government gains power, the hampering of liberties and rights begins. James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, was a follower/disciple of Jefferson. His checks and balances system had a purpose, as he believed that without checks and balances the victories of the Revolution would eventually be lost again.

    So, I say go ahead and question things. We never questioned things in school, especially not politically incorrect things. Read more Jeffersonian articles about other aspects of our life and government.

    Deanna

  8. #8
    While this is often thought by folks, it is an ad hominem attack on academic publishing.

    It also flies in the face of that amazing book I noted above, published by Carolina Academic Press.

    Ad hominem doesn't in any way describe my comments. They're based on logic, not emotion, and are certainly well-founded, as well as documented: politically incorrect views are VERY difficult to find in peer-reviewed journals. I also stand by my comments that the article isn't meant to be an academic article. It's a summary of the views expressed in the included books as reported by the author of the article. If you want citations, you can read the books. You noted the amazing book you read, so go back to these books and read their citations. I haven't done that yet, and it's not on my reading list in the near future.

    This post gives me another opportunity to stress the importance of this article in ways that are being ignored here. The author never justified or excused slavery. He did, however, question the motives for war and bring to light the extremely negative effects an expanding federal government has had since that time. So, again, I say, read the article and seriously consider it's points. I'm very proud of TOG for including such a view-point in their material. I can't stress enough how importance I think Jefferson's views on government are. I read McCullough's "John Adams" and just loved every word. But, as much as I like John Adams, as far as government goes I'm with Jefferson.

    Deanna

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by deannatoby:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">While this is often thought by folks, it is an ad hominem attack on academic publishing.

    It also flies in the face of that amazing book I noted above, published by Carolina Academic Press.

    Ad hominem doesn't in any way describe my comments. They're based on logic, not emotion, and are certainly well-founded, as well as documented: politically incorrect views are VERY difficult to find in peer-reviewed journals. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I gave one counter example in my link, here's another one: Elliot Institute's Research Page

    They are extremely politically incorrect, yet they get published in peer reviewed journals quite a bit.

    Do you have any links to studies or evidence of your position?

    I also stand by my comments that the article isn't meant to be an academic article. It's a summary of the views expressed in the included books as reported by the author of the article. If you want citations, you can read the books. You noted the amazing book you read, so go back to these books and read their citations. I haven't done that yet, and it's not on my reading list in the near future.



    Deanna
    I don't buy this, I remember trying to read Zinn's People's History of the US (very liberal) and not being able to get out of the very beginning largely in because of his patronizing attitude about footnotes. We little people would be distracted by them and we didn't really need them. We could just trust him that he'd done the research. At least in his case, he was writing the way of the world.

    In the case of those who write against the over whelming majority opinion, they must strive to document to the greatest detail. Otherwise, they are relegated to crank status.

    And because the original poster asked about the accuracy and knowledge of the writers, this must absolutely be addressed. You are essentially asking us to believe your opinion that they are writing both accurately and know their material. Without footnotes and references, there is no way to fact check them. You've just admitted that you have not fact checked them.

    Unlike you, I am disappointed that TOG would include such an article without a lot of factual back up. (Although since this is on the links page, I am less concerned about than if it was included in the
    TOG manual itself.) While I understand it seems interesting reading and hypothesizing that is all it is without references. It is no more than the conservative equivalent of The Da Vinci Code. If their opnion is correct, then I feel sure that it must be out there with more documentation.

    Not everyone is able to read everything, but everyone can learn to ask the same questions I asked in my first post. You should be able to ask them of anything you read. From them you can draw a reasonable conclusion or at least know further research is needed.
    Pat
    "Of two evils, choose neither."
    Charles H. Spurgeon
    http://www.spurgeon.org/mainpage.htm

  10. #10
    Since there is some confusion regarding the different forms of writing in this discussion, I'll state again that the article is an article in summary form presenting the viewpoints of two books which do contain the highly desired footnotes and citations. To assume that all forms of writing will contain citations is to misunderstand the basic forms of writing, newspaper articles for example.

    Susan, I'll again address your original question. You can assume since TOG included a link to the page that there is merit in the viewpoint, something to be learned or considered. Second, I'll let my previous statements stand regarding what I see as highly valuable in the article, no need for repetition. Third, if somebody wants to compare well-cited books to well-cited books, then read the books. And, fourth, and most importantly, not one point has been brought up refuting any of the views/facts/points of the article. This is basically an argument regarding whether or not citations should be here, and how many be required. If the article is merit-less, then its content should be argued. Are the article and books being compared to silly fiction out of knowledge of their contents? Just because a generalization is a sweeping one doesn't mean it's a valid one.

    As for political correctness:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/v631217283613826/
    http://www.tribunes.com/tribune/art97/ojas3.htm
    http://blogs.nature.com/peer-to-peer/2006/06/perspectiv...s_peer_review_m.html
    http://www.journaloftheoretics.com/E...Vol-4/e4-4.htm
    http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/23/the-haza...ly-correct-research/

    It would be welcome news to many people if politically incorrect views were now acceptable in the world of peer-reviewed publishing.

    I won't be able to respond to anything more until Tuesday. Enjoy the article, enjoy opening your mind to a different and research-supported viewpoint. The points I have continued to emphasize, and won't again here, are important.

    Kudos to TOG for exposing us to politically incorrect views when they could better help us understand history.

    Deanna

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