November 10, 2004

"History" belongs to the untainted...

Here's a historian, Jesse Lemisch who thinks it's wrong wrong WRONG for some conservatives to be involved in the study of history...
Having had a busy autumn, I've only just seen the New-York Historical Society's Alexander Hamilton exhibit (it runs September 10-February 28; U.S. tour, 2005-2008). As we would expect from Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, the two rich right-wingers who have in effect taken over the N-YHS, the exhibit leads inexorably to the re-election of George Bush, the rejection of the last thirty-five years of social history, and a paean to triumphalist capitalism.
EVERYONE knows that history is supposed to undermine capitalism, trash Republicans and show that the US is a cesspool of greed and oppression and genocide. That's just, like, so OBVIOUS, NOBODY disagrees....
The central themes of the Hamilton exhibit announce themselves fairly garishly even before you enter. A huge, multi-colored banner stretching a full block along Central Park West reproduces the ten dollar bill (take a look in your wallet).
Well that settles it right there. Dollars! Ugh. I'm sure he exchanges his own dollars for some more correct currency...Cuban Pesos perhaps.

...The exhibit is entitled "The Man who Made Modern America," reflecting a theory of how history happens, an archaically hagiographic approach (which is coming back into style in Bush's America),...
Lots of archaic things aren't as dead as you have been assuming...
and a certain political partisanship...
REAL historians NEVER show any political partisanship. Noooo.
These two wealthy Yalies ('60), supporters of the right-wing Manhattan Institute (Gilder is founder and a former chair), have a clear ideological program. To me, the strategy seems reminiscent of the CIA's suppport for the Congress for Cultural Freedom...
Gotcha. Right wing/CIA/anti-communism = BAD. I'm so glad YOU don't have an ideological program.
Gilder and Lehrman are buying legitimacy by buying historians, giving money to Yale and to the Organization of American Historians...
Me, I think smart, rich, public-spirited guys like Gilder and Lehrman already HAVE legitimacy. But what do I know?
...constructing a board with some stellar left-liberal types on it (what is with this, guys?).
Gotcha. left-liberal = "stellar." So what's with them? Uh, maybe they believe in Diversity? Maybe they believe the people tainted with Capitalism should also be allowed into intellectual debates? Or maybe they are just a "coalition of the bribed and coerced..."

My big question: In the first paragraph it says "the exhibit leads inexorably to the re-election of George Bush."SO, if taking pride in the greatness of our country and in the accomplishments of one of our Founding Fathers helps BUSH, what does that tell us about the Democrats?

(thanks to Betsy N)

Posted by John Weidner at November 10, 2004 12:35 PM
Weblog by John Weidner