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Publisher's Summary

Peter Wood argues against the flawed interpretation of history found in the New York Times’ 1619 Project and asserts that the true origins of American self-government were enshrined in the Mayflower compact in 1620.

Was America founded on the auction block in Jamestown in 1619 or aboard the Mayflower in 1620? The controversy erupted in August 2019 when the New York Times announced its 1619 Project. The Times set to transform history by asserting that all the laws, material gains, and cultural achievements of Americans are rooted in the exploitation of African Americans. Historians have pushed back, saying that the 1619 Project conjures a false narrative out of racial grievance.

This book sums up what the critics have said and argues that the traditional starting point for the American story - the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness - is right. A nation as complex as ours, of course, has many starting points, including the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But if we want to understand where the quintessential ideas of self-government and ordered liberty came from, the deliberate actions of the Mayflower immigrants in 1620 count much more than the near accidental arrival in Virginia 15 months earlier of a Portuguese slave ship commandeered by English pirates.

Schools across the country have already adopted the Times’ radical revision of history as part of their curricula. The stakes are high. Should children be taught that our nation is, to its bone, a 400-year-old system of racist oppression? Or should we teach children that what has always made America exceptional is its pursuit of liberty and justice for all? 

©2020 Peter W. Wood (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-11-2020

I'm Sympathetic, but wanting balance, not found.

Maybe I should have noted that this was a Critical Response of the "1619 Project", maybe I am more postmodern than what I realize. Either way I was looking for balance, looking for complex history, complex stories of people/humanity. I understand the push back against "This is the foundation of America"... #1619 project. However, for me, just as the former is ignoring the complexities of humanity, I got the sense that this book is as equally uncomfortable with the terror we are capable of inflicting on each other. But ultimately not much history in this book, mostly a critical response, and I am bored with critical #2020....

14 people found this helpful

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  • Peter Pajakowski
  • 20-11-2020

REQUIRED reading if you care about education

This book unequivocally eviscerates the arguments of charlatan activist Nicole Hannah-Jones, and exposes the pernicious agenda of Jake Silverstein and the once-great New York Times and the Pulitzer Center.

Wood does so with blistering accuracy and the tale about the many ways that these unforgivably mendacious text are attempting pushed a destructive narrative that infantilizes people of color and attempts to undermine anything of value that existed in the foundation of our country. I am a lifelong proud Democrat, but I was absolutely disgusted by what Jones and the New York Times are attempting to foist upon both the public at large, and more pernicious lie, our children.

If your school system is considering the adoption of this scandalously fallacious 1619 curriculum, send copies of this book to every member of the school board.

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  • R. D. Russell
  • 04-12-2020

Repetitive

This is more of an essay stretched to book length and rushed to the printer to cash in on refuting a current hot topic. I’m not arguing the main thrust of the argument, only the way it was put together. Could have more appropriately been 100 pages, instead of wearing the listener out hearing the same things again.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsey M Hall
  • 25-11-2020

A great source for students who want the truth

This book clearly exposes the intellectual dishonesty of the 1619 Project. This is a good source for any students who have teachers using 1619 Project resources to “teach” history.

7 people found this helpful

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  • MG
  • 04-01-2021

Study 1619 closely before listening to 1620

Do the prep work before sitting down with this. there is still a lot of value in 1619 arguments

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  • David E. Haupt
  • 31-12-2020

Balanced Look at the American History of Slavery

What impressed me most about this book, was the detailed dissection of every claim alleged in the 1619 Project. Midway through the book I began to wonder if it was actually a defense, as much as a critique.

The history covered, such as the Mayflower Contract, the conduct of the Pilgrims, and how it differed from the colony in Virginia, was enlightening and interesting. It is a delightful read for people who love history. Much about Abraham Lincoln was great too, as Wood unraveled the unfair and absurd accusation that Abe was a white suprematist and racist!

As he brings the evidence to bear from both sides, it is the more devastating to Nikole Hannah-Jones. Initially she presented it as actual history, but when criticized by the most esteemed historians, she later said no it’s not meant to be history, just journalism. In other words it’s sensational without being accurate.

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  • Fokker47
  • 20-12-2020

Actual US history

point by point refutation of a deception that is the 1619 Project. This book should be required reading in our schools and universities.

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  • Michael Fleharty
  • 16-11-2020

Excellent

So glad I read this book. I learned so much. expertly written.
I'll look for more books from this auther.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-2021

Adding to the conversation

Peter Wood's critique on the 1619 Project is a good reminder that history is a social science. It offers up a rebuttal to the claims made by the project published by the New York times as well as contributes to the larger conversation on racial history in America. although I do not personally agree with the intent of the 1619 project my only silver lining for the effort made by the New York times is that It offers a larger public forum on the discussion of race in America. Wood's criticisms of the project do have some weight behind them and offers up more material to extend the reader's own knowledge and research, as well as change the perception of American history offered up by the 1619 project.

In conclusion, I would suggest to anyone who is in a school district where the schools use the 1619 Project as the main narrative - to be extremely cautious and skeptical of these programs and course curriculums. They may add to the conversation of race history in America, however the project could be more divisive than unifying. as said before, history is a social science: there should always be conversation and debate around topics and subjects in order to get closer to THE truth. This is tough to do and is always an ongoing process.

I do not fully discount Hannah-Jones's 1619 project efforts as it adds to the cultural conversation. However, seeing as how she herself has claimed that the project itself was not a historical effort but an effort to change history, that is where I put more importance on Peter wood's critique published here.

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  • K. Breinholt
  • 20-03-2021

Everyone Needs to read or listen to this book

The narrative about the history is currently being challenged by the 1619 project. However, in order to do so they have engaged in embellishments and outright lies.

This book outlines the myths, false assumptions and outright lies that the 1619 project has used to create a narrative that the United States was founded on slavery, that it owes its wealth to slavery and it's laws perpetuate slavery.

This book points out and summerizes the many historians who have challenged the myths portrayed by the 1619 project.

Even better, this book lays out the the historical events of the founding of the colonies and laws of our country from the 1620 Mayflower compact onward and includes the real history around the events used by the 1619 Project to make their claims.

Finally, it points out the stated motives of the 1619 project and the real damage it has and will do if it is used as a historical context to frame our national discussion around Critical Race Theory. Where our youth would be taught to see everything our nation and society as a form of oppression.

Thank you Peter and Stephen for putting this together.

1 person found this helpful

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