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Reader response, he hopefully wrote.

April 7, 2010, 12:21 pm

Ari’s previous two posts inspire me to ask of our learned readership a question for each.1

1) Does the “which side are you on” rhetoric in response to industrial tragedy get the American public’s attention? Almost a hundred years ago Charles Beard, perhaps somewhat bitterly, said no:

Realizing the fact that a mere high mortality due to congestion will not seriously disturb a nation that complacently slaughters more people on its railways and in its factories and mines than any other country in the world, mathematically minded reformers are trying to reach the heart of the public through its purse by pointing out that there is a great economic loss in the death of persons of working age.

Which really works better to grab Americans’ attention? Rhetorical appeals to justice, or social scientific appeals to your wallet?

2) Let’s stipulate there is no greater historiographical swindle than the hornswoggling pretense that the Civil War derived principally from any cause other than slavery and there has never been a lower species of bamboozle than the neoconfederate heritage racket. What else goes on the list of great historiographical frauds? (Yes, New Deal denialism does. Others?)


1That’s for each post, not for each reader, wisenheimer.

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