The History Wars Continue, Part VI

Today we move on to the economy and the role of government. Sparks are sure to fly. 6. “A few government and U.S. history textbooks suffer from an uncritical celebration of the free enterprise system, both by ignoring legitimate problems created by capitalism and failing to include coverage of government’s role in U.S. economic system.” (a) Here, according to the Texas Freedom Network, are the … Continue reading The History Wars Continue, Part VI

The History Wars Continue, Part V

5. “Several world geography and history textbooks suffer from an incomplete – and often inaccurate – account of religions other than Christianity.” Here, the Network is on firmer ground. Geographers and historians aren’t specialists in religion or philosophy, and they often oversimplify or make mistakes. Consider some particular complaints: (a) In describing Buddhism’s second Noble Truth, one text says, “Selfishness is the cause of suffering,” … Continue reading The History Wars Continue, Part V

The History Wars Continue, Part II

Yesterday I talked about the Texas Freedom Network’s report on textbooks submitted to satisfy the new Texas Social Studies standards, looking at one set of complaints. Today I’ll continue by evaluating additional issues raised by the report, again as reasonable, debatable, or bogus. 2. “Two government textbooks include misleading information that undermines the Constitutional concept of the separation of church and state.” The first of these … Continue reading The History Wars Continue, Part II

The History Wars Continue, Part I

The Texas Freedom Network, a left-wing group as committed to Freedom as the former German Democratic Republic was committed to democracy, has issued a report blasting the textbooks that publishers have submitted to the Texas State Board of Education to go along with the new state guidelines, passed in 2010 after considerable controversy, which I wrote about here. Some of the complaints are justifiable, though … Continue reading The History Wars Continue, Part I

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Texas

The National Association of Scholars recently completed a study of history courses offered at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. It’s absolutely on target: Our findings in this study shed light on a source of Americans’ increasing ignorance about their own history. At the two institutions we studied, the focus on race, class, and gender often tended to crowd out the … Continue reading Scenes from the Class Struggle in Texas

The Higher Education Bubble

Glenn Reynolds talks to Naomi Schafer Riley about the state of higher education. It’s a fascinating discussion, free of the overgeneralizations that plague discussions of this issue. Ron Lipsman, for example, claims that college education is now little more than indoctrination, except in certain areas of the hard sciences. That’s not so. Certain fields and courses are mostly indoctrination—almost anything with “Studies” in the title, … Continue reading The Higher Education Bubble

“…some of my best friends are Serbs….”

Shlomo Avineri writes a letter to a Serbian friend, advising Serbia to acquiesce in Kosovo independence. He points out that 90% of the population of Kosovo is ethnically Albanian, and says: Yet one cannot draw 21st century borders according to historical links which overlook the wishes of the present population. The question is not territory, but people. It is for this reason that most Israelis … Continue reading “…some of my best friends are Serbs….”

Maimonides and “Tolerance” in Medieval Spain

Andrew Bostom gives a detailed account of why Maimonides fled Spain, to settle ultimately in Cairo, despite the supposed harmony of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in medieval Spain. It’s a helpful correction to the impression left by Maria Rosa Menocal’s book, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain, and especially by her subtitle. In … Continue reading Maimonides and “Tolerance” in Medieval Spain