Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Don't know much about history..."

During my first year at the University of Cincinnati, my professor for "History of Western Civilization" during the fall and winter quarters was a exiled Greek political dissident. His mission in life, when he wasn't chasing young co-eds (in vain), was devoted to stripping us of any love of our Western heritage. I realize the irony, but bear with me. For example, my medieval history textbook was authored by Frederich Engles, who used to hang with Karl Marx -- not one of the Marx Brothers, but the author of The Communist Manifesto. By spring quarter, many of us wised up and got the hell out, thus sparing ourselves from his sympathetic view of the Rosenbergs.

I'll give him credit for this much; he made us read all about the Peloponnesian War.

Closer to the present, EWTN presented an interview last night with Dr Thomas E Woods, author of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. I have been reading this book off and on in recent months, and I could not recommend it enough. (And yes, he handles the whole Galileo thing very well, thank you very much.) And that was before seeing this interview. An overview of Dr Woods' work appears at his website, "Thomas E Woods dot com," and various reviews appear at Amazon. The latter has some terrific reviews. The bad ones tend to speak for themselves.

If you son or daughter is in a public high school -- or for that matter, damn near any Catholic high school -- MAKE THEM READ THIS BOOK! Better yet, read it along with them. Talk with them about it. (Start with this free download of a sample chapter.) You will thank yourself later, when they're not thanking you.

You'll never look at The History Channel the same way again (unless it's about the Civil War).


Rich Leonardi said...

It is a great book, and I've read it more or less as you have: haphazardly. 'Need to remedy that.

James said...

Maybe you shouldn't even believe the History Channel about the Civil War, er, the War Between the States.
Think on that notion for a while. If they blew it on all the rest, maybe they aren't swell on this one either.

David L Alexander said...


I believe you meant to say "The War of Northern Aggression." It helps to know enough to know what to ignore, and what not to. The latter also applies to documentaries about the Second World War. Where else can you hear countless interviews from participants on both sides of the conflict?

I'm not one of those "kill your television" types. Most people who are don't even know what's on. If they want to eschew it, fine. But knowing what you don't like about a topic does not make you an expert on it.

Anonymous said...

After hearing this recommended on Catholic Answers, I managed to download it as an audio book (at These days, listening on the run is generally the closest I can get to reading.

I too, thought it was excellent, and made my oldest son listen to the section on Galileo, as a compliment to his science at the time. Being homeschooled, he isn't subjected to the revisionist agenda, but of course he and our other kids will be surrounded by it as adults.

God Bless,

Embattled Catholic