Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Politically Incorrect Guide to American History Amazon Review

Apparently, Thomas E. Woods Jr., the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, did not like the review I wrote of his book for Amazon and had it removed. I worked very hard on this review and was very disappointed that he took such measures, so I am posting it here. Because I believe in being fair and balanced I am also posting the email he sent me taking exception to my review so that you can see an opposing point of view. However, I stand by my review as written.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

Reviewer: Jon Swift - See all my reviews

I prefer history that is correct, January 17, 2006

I have not actually read this book but I don't understand why someone would write a book of history that is incorrect. I think we have enough problems nowadays getting young people to learn the correct dates when something happened and the correct names of our Presidents that filling their heads with more incorrect information doesn't make any sense at all.

Thomas E. Woods Jr.'s Response:

17 Jan 2006 22:36:59 -0800
Do you not understand the term "politically incorrect"?? It doesn't mean FACTUALLY incorrect. Have you never heard of political correctness? And you're going to denounce a book you've never read on the basis of your own ignorance? What's the matter with you?

, , , , , , , History Carnival 28


Funkeh said...

Love it. Your blog, that is.

Nightprowlkitty said...

oh that made me laugh outloud! Thanks!

Iago said...

Classic...I just found your blog today and really enjoy it. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Why is Mr. Wood so sensitive? I don't understand why he is so hostile. You made a completely valid point about the size of the "incorrect" book. Jeez - some people are so touchy. He is the one who named it incorrect & even though you hadn't read the book, you were just stating the obvious.

I support you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that guy writes on the Mises blog. They don't have much of a sense of humor over there. And I say that as a guy who likes the Mises stuff.

Greek Shadow said...

I aagree with the author. If your going to call what you write for Amazon.com a review then take the time to read the book otherwise just call it an opinion. If you're making a joke about someone elses life blood go on be open about it.

Idan said...

Woods' response is priceless. A rare gem of naivety slash self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...


I just posted a review on Amazon. Support it and move it to the top.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I just went to Amazon and voted NO to all the 5 star reviews and YES to all the one star reviews.

Everyone do the same.

Free Speech rules.

Mark Gordon said...

You people are fools. Swift took the review down himself, obviously. Obviously Woods can't get a review deleted from Amazon! If he could, why wouldn't every author just have every negative review deleted? Are you people brain dead?

Anonymous said...

The author wrote me this. All right, Swift, tell us the truth. Did you take it down? Give us the scoop.

"You moron, Swift took the review down himself. How could I get the review taken down? How? Ask Amazon? You think they take reviews down because authors ask them to? What kind of idiot are you?"

At any rate, I don't like his books, but bash them I will. Burn them I won't. (I know he'd burn mine if I wrote them).

Anonymous said...

I love Fox News. Rush Limbaugh is a favorite. And Radio news is soooooo cooooool.
But that author is a jerk.

come on Swift. Give it to us straight.

It's soooooooooooooo cooooooooooooool to be cooooooooooonservative.

...but fre speech is where it's at.

Mark Gordon said...

So let me get this straight. Swift leaves a one-star review of a book he admits he hasn't read. Woods tells him this is dumb, which of course it is. Then the review disappears. This, it is assumed, is Woods's fault.

Now why don't you look at some of the reviews of Woods's books. Some of them are extremely negative. Swift's was merely amusing. Why would Woods have removed just that one, rather than all these quite cruel ones?

And why is Woods a "jerk," exactly? I looked up Anonymous's other reviews, and one of them makes clear that Anonymous is antiwar. Well so is Woods, you idiot. You've apparently just assumed he's a warmongering Sean Hannity. Read his article archive at LewRockwell.com. He is more consistently antiwar than any leftist I've met, and more anti-Bush as well.

What is with you leftists? A traditional conservative agrees with you and you don't find this even slightly interesting?

Joyful Alternative said...

I read all the reviews and figure I now know more about the book than I want to.

Apparently, the author's idea of "politically incorrect" is what was "politically correct" pre-1975 or so, because it's exactly the crap I was taught in school--the Pilgrims were a boatload of nuns who came to help the Indians shoot turkeys, the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, the colonists were all Englishmen who came to America to work hard and make a City on the Hill out of a barren wilderness, and the like, the civic pieties that look silly once you start reading a few primary sources, which is what history grad students are supposed to do.

American history is fascinating, but I guess some people can't cope with inconvenient facts that don't fit the story line. Maybe being "conservative" is swallowing hook, line, and sinker one's first simplified exposure to American history in fourth grade and refusing to accept any contradictions from colonists' letters, 19th-century newspapers, or documents from state legislature archives that deviates from one's image of what ought to be, all that reality-based stuff some people like to ignore in favor of a vision.

Mark Gordon said...

I LOVE the Left. I just love you guys. You draw conclusions on the basis of NOTHING. Woods's book nowhere says the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. He doesn't call the Puritans saints; he simply notes (correctly, by the way) that modern scholarship is more and more sympathetic to them and less vitriolic. He has just about nothing good to say about the U.S. government, ever. His book is far more nuanced than anything on this blog, for instance.

To say that Woods just refuses to accept reality, or that he'd rather adopt simple pieties, etc., is just idiotic and shows you know nothing about him. That's pretty much the opposite of Woods's work.

Do a google search for "Thomas E Woods" and "All the President's Power" and see if he seems like a Limbaugh-Hannity type to you.

Anonymous said...

This is crazy, woods reply was not 'naive self-righteosness' he was being very sane. How can you throw random assumptions at a book you've never read. His reply was correct, his book is meant to be politically incorrect, not historically incorrect. Saying it must be historically incorrect is not 'just stating the obvious'. It may be, but you can't honestly say that without reading it first. I must seriously ask, is this website a joke, im desperately looking for a disclaimer stating that this whole blog is a huge elaborate spoof of the mind of a conservative steriotype.

Joyful Alternative said...

I have the sneaking suspicion that Mr. Woods also goes by the name of Mark Gordon.

Brock Townsend said...

Absolutely asinine to review a book that one hasn't read!

HankC said...

I haven't actually read your blog, but it appears to be a few bricks shy of a load...

Polimom said...

This comment thread has to rank right up there with the all-time funniest.

When I grow up, I wanna get my tongue stuck in my cheek and have nobody notice, too! Jon's my hero.

Mike Parker said...

Hey Jon,

The Honourable Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Ph.D. has more friends on the internet.

Within 7 hours of using his name in a blog, he was posting a response.

He's made several mistakes in each of his posts to me. I'm not going to read them (all the way to the end) because I know how it all turns out.

He's a nut case in my humble opinion.


Charles Sheehan-Miles said...

I can't speak to the book itself -- I haven't read it, so I'm not qualified to comment. As far as reviews go, author's can't take them down. There's a very lengthy route you can go through to complain to Amazon about a specific review, and in some cases they will remove them. Not having actually read the book is one of the few grounds for which they'll remove one. Negative reviews aren't.

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