Monday, February 14, 2011

Can you say biased?

Over the weekend, I was at a conference. After the conference, I had a bit of time, so I went to the local bookstore, as I do sometimes. I was looking over the history section and found a book about Charles Lindbergh that looked interesting. The title was good: Lindbergh Vs. Roosevelt: The Rivalry That Divided America by James P. Duffy. I was unfamiliar with the author, so I began reading the preface when it happened on page xi. The author made a comparison between FDR and Obama—fine, Obama wouldn't mind that—and then made an equation between Lindbergh and...Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh!

I closed the book and put it back. I've seen rhetorical tricks in my day—you should read some good Greek or Latin speeches—but that one just left me speechless. To compare Lindbergh, someone who actually did something history making to "I can't get my facts straight, so I'll make them up" Beck and "The only thing sacred to me is my ego" Limbaugh was more than I could believe.

You know, the book might be ok, but I wouldn't trust a thing he says without reading all his sources myself. That being the case, why read the book? Just go to the sources (ad fontes!) and draw your own conclusions...


Dr. F said...

You should have looked further. Despite the comparisons with modern pols, Duffy does a good job of detailing the conflict between Lindbergh and Roosevelt that went back to 1932.

He also shows that Roosevelt and his henchmen deliberately set out to destroy Lindbergh's reputation and brand him a Nazi.


jps said...

That might very well be, but given his obvious bias there, how can I be sure that he hasn't mangled his sources in a similar manner?

I do know that Lindbergh was falsely branded a Nazi, which is why I even picked up the book.


Dr. F said...

You don't know if any book has mangles its sources until you try at least a chapter or two.