Author Topic: History is as much myth as fact  (Read 336 times)

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2020, 08:50:02 AM »
We know a lot of truth about Vietnam, which is probably because we didn't win that war and weren't able to shove a lot truth under the carpet, but I think history is a mixture of truth and propaganda.  The more truth, the better the history.
A good historian has methods to winnow away the chaff and to find the kernels of truth/facts of the matter.  That's the type of history I like to read.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2020, 09:16:49 AM »
A good historian has methods to winnow away the chaff and to find the kernels of truth/facts of the matter.  That's the type of history I like to read.
I grew up thinking General Custer was an American Hero, the last man standing at the Little Big Horn, and the only body not desecrated after the massacre, because he was such a respected foe among the Souix.  On our first family vacation out west, we visited the Custer Monument at the Little Big Horn (August 1954), and were regaled by the park attendants with stories about the heroism and dedication of Custer.  That winter, my father came home from work one evening with some old clippings (or copies) of an article written by some army staff person who was one of the first on the scene of the massacre.  He had written this many years after the battle, but it read like something out of the National Enquirer, and totally reversed everything that was known about Custer.  I remember reading that his body was desecrated as bad as every other soldier, and there was no indication that he was the last to die.  He may have shot himself in the head.  It also brought to light much about Custer's barbaric approach to killing Indians, men women, and children.  The author said in the article that he had withheld the information from the public, out of respect for Custer's wife, who lived a long time, and died just 10 years before I was born.  A few years later history had changed, and Custer became widely recognized as an embarrassment, rather than a national hero.  When my dad handed me those clippings, he just shrugged and said something like, "Here's a different point of view."  I asked him if he thought the article was true, and he said, "Maybe time will tell."

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2020, 09:17:48 AM »
A good historian has methods to winnow away the chaff and to find the kernels of truth/facts of the matter.  That's the type of history I like to read.
Fourteen years at Purdue made me remember to try to disprove any statement I make. It has stood me in good stead since.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2020, 09:20:16 AM »
I grew up thinking General Custer was an American Hero, the last man standing at the Little Big Horn, and the only body not desecrated after the massacre, because he was such a respected foe among the Souix.  On our first family vacation out west, we visited the Custer Monument at the Little Big Horn (August 1954), and were regaled by the park attendants with stories about the heroism and dedication of Custer.  That winter, my father came home from work one evening with some old clippings (or copies) of an article written by some army staff person who was one of the first on the scene of the massacre.  He had written this many years after the battle, but it read like something out of the National Enquirer, and totally reversed everything that was known about Custer.  I remember reading that his body was desecrated as bad as every other soldier, and there was no indication that he was the last to die.  He may have shot himself in the head.  It also brought to light much about Custer's barbaric approach to killing Indians, men women, and children.  The author said in the article that he had withheld the information from the public, out of respect for Custer's wife, who lived a long time, and died just 10 years before I was born.  A few years later history had changed, and Custer became widely recognized as an embarrassment, rather than a national hero.  When my dad handed me those clippings, he just shrugged and said something like, "Here's a different point of view."  I asked him if he thought the article was true, and he said, "Maybe time will tell."
A gentleman contacted me back in '08, offering to sell me one of the Gatling guns that Custer declined to take with him to Little Big Horn. I wasn't interested in spending a ton of money on such an item so I never examined the documents he offered as provenance. The ammo alone would have killed me financially. Would have been a cool toy, however.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2020, 11:14:36 AM »
I grew up thinking General Custer was an American Hero, the last man standing at the Little Big Horn, and the only body not desecrated after the massacre, because he was such a respected foe among the Souix.  On our first family vacation out west, we visited the Custer Monument at the Little Big Horn (August 1954), and were regaled by the park attendants with stories about the heroism and dedication of Custer.  That winter, my father came home from work one evening with some old clippings (or copies) of an article written by some army staff person who was one of the first on the scene of the massacre.  He had written this many years after the battle, but it read like something out of the National Enquirer, and totally reversed everything that was known about Custer.  I remember reading that his body was desecrated as bad as every other soldier, and there was no indication that he was the last to die.  He may have shot himself in the head.  It also brought to light much about Custer's barbaric approach to killing Indians, men women, and children.  The author said in the article that he had withheld the information from the public, out of respect for Custer's wife, who lived a long time, and died just 10 years before I was born.  A few years later history had changed, and Custer became widely recognized as an embarrassment, rather than a national hero.  When my dad handed me those clippings, he just shrugged and said something like, "Here's a different point of view."  I asked him if he thought the article was true, and he said, "Maybe time will tell."
When in grade school and even high school, I thought that Custer was a hero.  And I bought all kinds of other pieces of propaganda.  Like Washington did not lie about chopping down a cherry tree (made up out of whole cloth, my a minister, of course).  I could go on and on.  In college I ended up being a history major and loved it.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2020, 02:59:46 PM »
We know a lot of truth about Vietnam, which is probably because we didn't win that war and weren't able to shove a lot truth under the carpet, but I think history is a mixture of truth and propaganda.  The more truth, the better the history.

Versimilitude is desired, but without the blood and guts ;-)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 03:11:52 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2020, 03:06:03 PM »
I grew up thinking General Custer was an American Hero, the last man standing at the Little Big Horn, and the only body not desecrated after the massacre, because he was such a respected foe among the Souix.  On our first family vacation out west, we visited the Custer Monument at the Little Big Horn (August 1954), and were regaled by the park attendants with stories about the heroism and dedication of Custer.  That winter, my father came home from work one evening with some old clippings (or copies) of an article written by some army staff person who was one of the first on the scene of the massacre.  He had written this many years after the battle, but it read like something out of the National Enquirer, and totally reversed everything that was known about Custer.  I remember reading that his body was desecrated as bad as every other soldier, and there was no indication that he was the last to die.  He may have shot himself in the head.  It also brought to light much about Custer's barbaric approach to killing Indians, men women, and children.  The author said in the article that he had withheld the information from the public, out of respect for Custer's wife, who lived a long time, and died just 10 years before I was born.  A few years later history had changed, and Custer became widely recognized as an embarrassment, rather than a national hero.  When my dad handed me those clippings, he just shrugged and said something like, "Here's a different point of view."  I asked him if he thought the article was true, and he said, "Maybe time will tell."

Got to Little Big Horn in 1975.  Much had been debunked by then, but there were still more revelations in the decades since.  Back in the day, there were famous lithographs of Custer's Last Stand over many bars, probably because it was a "freebee" from a distributor of beer or whiskey.  I think I saw at least one of those in the 60s, possibly in Wyoming.  And we know now that all sides in wars commit atrocities.

I don't take sides, people are violent in general.  And Natives and Settlers had genuine opposite interests.  Those who died bravely fighting for what they believed in, I can honor either way.  Same with any other war or conflict.  Never felt negative toward Axis soldiers or Allied soldiers ... they were just doing what they were told to.  My parents lived during WW II, so had greater prejudice.  Don't have any known relatives who died in the Indian wars.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2020, 03:07:40 PM »
When in grade school and even high school, I thought that Custer was a hero.  And I bought all kinds of other pieces of propaganda.  Like Washington did not lie about chopping down a cherry tree (made up out of whole cloth, my a minister, of course).  I could go on and on.  In college I ended up being a history major and loved it.

But did you go from one ignorant prejudice to another?  One can put oneself in the other guys moccasins without being bitter.  "We Were Soldiers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" are like that ... honest without being prejudiced.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 03:13:36 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2020, 03:11:30 PM »
A gentleman contacted me back in '08, offering to sell me one of the Gatling guns that Custer declined to take with him to Little Big Horn. I wasn't interested in spending a ton of money on such an item so I never examined the documents he offered as provenance. The ammo alone would have killed me financially. Would have been a cool toy, however.

I think those were brought by the Gibbon's infantry column that arrived after the battle?  Gatling guns had a tendency to jam, not fixed until the Maxime gun was invented.  Prussian needle gun (rifle) in 1866 was as good as a machine gun in well trained regiments (Austrian army destroyed).  Custer was the second column, the first column on the Rosebud had been destroyed some time before Custer's battle, but he didn't know about it.  Custer didn't want to share any glory with the infantry third column (typical egomaniac cavalryman).  Marshal Ney did he same thing attacking Wellington's infantry squares at Waterloo.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2020, 03:15:02 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2020, 03:17:08 PM »
On to domestic history ....



Suburbs ... heaven or hell?  We are at the end of that period that started in 1950 ... cars, detached houses, lawns, malls.  The malls are dying already, and the post-war America will die off with the Boomers, which started with their parents.  Just as well, do we really want too much continuity with Victorian slums?
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2020, 11:33:32 PM »
Reconstructing Roman Hispania ...

Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2020, 12:21:47 PM »
The real Col Kurz was an African-American Army private in Burma in WW II ...

Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2020, 12:36:03 PM »
I do WWII. Since 1958 actually. http://HTTP://ibiblio.org/hyperwar has >22 terabytes of files on the subject. And we haven't scratched the surface. Why do I mention this? I think it was Samuel Clemens who first said "The best way to lie to tell the truth, then shut up." Lying by omission is quite common in historical works.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2020, 12:41:24 PM »
Jungle warfare sucks, so I am told.  Burma sucked in particular (in spite of movie I saw about Merrill's Marauders).  GIs with access to drugs and guns are a bad combination ...

Up until the volunteer force post Vietnam, African-American soldiers were treated badly (though not as bad as say the average guy in the Russian Army).  Back in the day, regular beatings were how minor infractions and informal rankings were handled in the British forces (class based officer corp).
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: History is as much myth as fact
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2020, 01:43:11 PM »
I enjoyed my time on the Tonle Sap.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers