1981: I was looking through some old books that somehow ended up at my parents’ house. Among them, I found a set of history books from the 1930s. With an innate interest in the topic, I began reading them, and was absolutely shocked by what I found.
The last book of the series covered what were then modern times, and to my horror, I found lavish praise for – of all people – Benito Mussolini.
These were American books, by the way, beautifully produced by a respected publisher. And there, in authoritative tones, was the story of the great Mussolini, the savior of Italy. Given that I was taught precisely the opposite, a mere 30-odd years later, you can imagine my surprise.
Just to establish my point, here are a few quotes from that time about Mussolini:
What a man! I have lost my heart!
– Winston Churchill
The greatest genius of the modern age.
– Thomas Edison
I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy.
– Franklin Roosevelt
Obviously, these quotes are no longer mentioned in ‘respectable’ circles. And that’s my point: What is inconvenient to the current ruling establishment is dropped from the books.
When I was young, the USSR was famous for horribly twisting history to make themselves look like the great and mighty ones. They even made jokes about it on the original Star Trek. But here was clear evidence that history – in America – had been altered. In this case, parts had not been added, but they most certainly had been taken away. That rather shook my view of history, as it had been taught to me at school.
The Making of… Hidden History
A few years later I came across an even more troubling instance of history being pulled out of the books:
I had been writing a few books for a major publisher, and one of my editors asked me to meet him for dinner, which, of course, I did. We discussed projects that we might pursue and generally had a pleasant evening. At some point we left off discussing our projects and talked about history. Somehow, we ended up at the Armenian genocide. He was surprised that I knew about it (many still don’t), but I had known quite a few Armenian kids growing up, and I had heard their stories.
Then, my editor took a deep breath and said, “then I want to tell you something.” He explained that a few years before, he had been working for one of the big three textbook publishers, and happened to be editing a high school history book. One day, he got a phone call from the US State Department. He was shocked, and asked them why they would be calling him. “It’s about the history book you’re editing,” the man said.
My friend had been raised in about the same way I had, so the idea of censoring a textbook was astonishing to him. “We need you to cut back the section on the Armenian genocide,” the man from the State Department said. My friend was horrified, and complained that it was the true history. “Yes,” said the man, “but we need to keep the Turks happy.” My friend’s 2-3 pages on the Armenian genocide was reduced to 2-3 paragraphs, and it was a victory that he got that much space.
According to all I learned in school, such things did not happen in America. According to all that is self-promoted about academia, they are the sworn enemies of such things. But they do happen – a lot.
I’ve encountered the same thing on museum walls: descriptions that are clearly misleading, but which glorify the rulership of our time.
There is much more to this, but I’ll let the point stand as I’ve made it thus far: History is manipulated. You can find the truth if you dig through old books and artifact records, or from some specialists, but not from schoolbooks. The books aren’t filled with lies, they just remove the facts that don’t make their bosses look good.
And this is not a trivial thing; it affects a lot more than school children. As Adolf Hitler was starting his aggression against the Poles, the London Times quoted him as saying: Go, kill without mercy. After all, who remembers the Armenians?
What is deleted from history can teach us nothing, and those who have this power use it to glorify themselves. This is a very dangerous thing, and it rules the schoolbooks of America and the Western world in general.
I’ll close with a line from Paul Simon’s song, Kodachrome:
When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,
it’s a wonder I can think at all.
What you learned in school was a partial, cartoon version of history. You learned what made the big bosses look good, and no more.