Monday, December 1, 2014

His–Story – More Than Just Dates and Dead Guys

Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America – Glenn Beck (Mercury Ink/Threshold Editions)

Unless you have been blessed to have been taught by one of those rare, magical, teachers who embraced the teaching of history and delivered depth, context and colors of the story of our nation and world; then all too often history was boiled down to the bland recitation of a list of dates and dead guys.

Glenn Beck and his team of writers is out with Dreamers and Deceivers: True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America, the second in a series of books that offer short historical “fiction” pieces that examine a variety of points in our history and flesh them out by piecing together a variety of sources. Is there a bit of poetic license? Certainly! But by in large these stories hang together and really make history interesting. I look at these short pieces as an invitation to delve a whole lot deeper into the stories that catch your imagination.

The names: Ponzi, Sacco and Vanzetti, and Steve Jobs, among them, are often familiar, but their stories may not be. Dreamers and Deceivers offers up some new perspective on the stories of these men who influenced our history. While Ponzi became infamous for his “scheme” exactly what that ruse was may not be widely known; now you can get a basic sense of his story.

It is often eye opening to learn how the media and history for that matter treated many of the subjects of these stories. It seems amazing, but not surprising that the media still lauded Alger Hiss, a convicted perjurer and Communist upon his passing; Hiss infamously thought more highly of mass-murdering, Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin than he did of his own country. When you place that historical reference side by side with the current Liberal school of thought and how we as a country view terrorism, history becomes absolutely frightening.

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