Friday, March 12, 2010
Suppose you're a history professor and you're looking over several textbooks to determine which one to use. Where do you start? Professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton (an institution so reputable it wasn't listed in the mentioned article) flips the section(s) on Reagan. How the textbook handles Reagan is a good test in his mind of how they handle other issues historically. I've found that sort of test handy when evaluating history books. From the Alamo (Check the death toll. If it's under 600, someone's drinking the land-grad Kool Aid.) to sports history (Can you really have a list of greatest defenses that doesn't include the Dallas team that didn't allow a single TD for the last 2 games of the regular season, throughout the playoffs, and through the Super Bowl?), I often find myself looking for a quick tell of the author's slant.