Some events spotlighted in this overwrought right-wing screed, like Martin Van Buren's redesign of political parties in the 1820s and the Dred Scott decision, were genuine historical watersheds. Others, like the Johnstown flood and President Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack, an alleged milestone in government dietary nannyism, maybe not. What unites them is the theme that historian Schweikart (48 Liberal Lies About American History) reliably extracts: the federal government is incompetent and corrupt, and the founders would have abhorred its modern initiatives, from arts funding to disaster relief to the food pyramid. Some of Schweikart's arguments, like his contention that Dred Scott precipitated the Panic of 1857, are intriguing and plausible, but his conclusions run to rabid anticollectivist sermonizing, e.g., throughout history, all inventions, all major decisions have come down to a single person. (Take that, Constitutional Convention!) His credibility is undermined by factual misstatements (In 2003... the world was already reaching its population peak), paranoid hyperbole (beneath the obesity hysteria was a deep hatred of capitalism), and obscure mutterings about 'the Lysenkoist 'man-made global warming' nonsense and the 'other shooters' sighted at President Kennedy's assassination. Schweikart's tea party serves up an iffy blend.
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