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Feb 2, 2011
Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & WhiteSetting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White by David Barton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Mr. Barton has an agenda and it comes through from the first pages of this book. He wanted to set the record straight on which political party has furthered the civil rights of Black Americans throughout our history. He did exactly that. The last quarter of this book is footnotes and supporting documentation of what he has put forth in the preceding pages. Mr. Barton does not like what the Democratic Party historically did in regards to civil rights and Mr. Barton is obviously a Christian. If either of those would offend the reader, do not read this book.

I found many aspects of this history fascinating. As a life-long history buff, particularly American history, I found a lot within its pages to keep me reading on. One aspect that I had only a nodding acquaintance with was the extend to which Black Americans were involved in our national government in the years immediately following the Civil War. Men went from slavery to Congress in literally a handful of years. Only in America! And while the southern states were still under Republican majorities, many Black Americans also served in the southern states' legislatures.

One thing I did not know, had never read about or studied, was the extent to which the Democratic Party was involved with the Ku Klux Klan. I knew that some members of the party had been involved in the Klan, but Mr. Barton presents a strong case that the party as a whole was actively involved. I followed a few of his footnotes on this and will follow up some more when I have time.

I also had not realized that during the almost 100 years when lynching was practiced, one quarter of those lynched were white. The whole issue of lynching and the numerous attempts to stop it was very interesting reading. While it seems like ancient history, it really wasn't that long ago.

If you enjoy history and learning more than what your high school textbook included, if you enjoy reading about brave Americans who dared to stand up for what was right, and if you aren't offended by some obvious writer bias... I recommend this book.

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