Doris Kearns Goodwin Intentionally Misleads About the History of Race — Larry Koler

 

I’m reading Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. It’s a good book overall, but I came across the quote below and simply could not believe it.

From Page 321:

In addition, southern Republicans had never forgiven Roosevelt for the unprecedented dinner invitation extended the previous fall to the black educator Booker T. Washington. At the time, the vehement reaction in the South had stunned and saddened Roosevelt. Newspaper editorials throughout the region decried the president’s attempt to make a black man the social equal of a white man by sharing the same dinner table. “Social equality with the Negro means decadence and damnation,” announced one southern official. “The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that n****r will necessitate our killing a thousand n*****s in the South before they will learn their place,” declared South Carolina’s Ben Tillman. For disaffected Republicans in both North and South, Mark Hanna promised deliverance from Roosevelt’s wrongheadedness.

South Carolina’s Ben Tillman was a Democrat, a southern Democrat. How many southern white racist Republicans were there at that time, I wonder? Which ones were upset with him about the dinner invitation?

Why would Goodwin spend all this time on “southern Republicans,” then have a despicable quote from a Democratic governor of South Carolina mixed in with these items – and not tell us that the racist in this discussion was a Democrat? Low-information people are at the mercy of these despicable tactics and they are taught to hate Republicans more than Democrats and especially in the history of race.

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  1. user_1938 Inactive
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    I have become extremely skeptical of histories in general in recent years. Even if you trust an author, which of his sources can you trust? Are the “official” statistics and polls they reference any more reliable than the garbage we regularly see cited in modern newspapers? Are the quotations and examples any more representative of reality than of biases?

    It’s difficult to know where to begin. Thankfully, Ricochet is a place where people of a variety of perspectives and educations can at least provide a wealth of conflicting analyses for a well-rounded view.

    • #1
  2. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    This needs to be put on the main feed. Utterly disgusting.
    During a period when Southern blacks governed by solidly Democratic legislatures were routinely denied the vote, their chief lever of political power was their continued ability to take part in the selection of the Republican presidential nominee. Because the whites overwhelmingly voted Democratic, Southern Republican parties were heavily African American. This is partly why the Republicans continued to support civil rights as keenly as they did for as long as they did, since that voting block was often decisive for the GOP nomination (which, in turn almost guaranteed the White House).

    Aaron Miller:

    I have become extremely skeptical of histories in general in recent years. Even if you trust an author, which of his sources can you trust?

     A good historian will do some of that vetting for you. In reading the Oxford History of the United States, for instance, not counting the two post-war volumes, I found very little to disagree with. Reading histories as contemporary campaign literature, like DKG’s work, you’ll find a lot.

    I agree that we should be grateful for the presence of scholars with integrity on Ricochet. Thank you, Larry.

    • #2
  3. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    I’ve become so used to history being twisted when it comes to race that I was almost surprised when I saw the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln.  It actually showed that it was the Republican party that struggled to end slavery, and the Democrats who struggled to preserve it.  After you’ve been lied about so often it’s almost disconcerting to hear someone on the left tell the truth.

    • #3
  4. flownover Inactive
    flownover
    @flownover

    She is a paid operative of the DNC and busily revising history so their GOP is racist theme which they are preparing for the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential will have the heft of a long book . Goodwin has been discredited more than once already. 
    Hackdom, thy name is Pulitzer (these days) .

    • #4
  5. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Randy Weivoda:

    I’ve become so used to history being twisted when it comes to race that I was almost surprised when I saw the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln. It actually showed that it was the Republican party that struggled to end slavery, and the Democrats who struggled to preserve it. After you’ve been lied about so often it’s almost disconcerting to hear someone on the left tell the truth.

     I think that this is an unusually explicit example, though, and a great case study for highlighting comparable, but less manifestly dishonest, statements.

    Incidentally, if people do want to use this in their off-Ricochet discussions, Washington’s autobiography is pretty good, but the best analysis I’ve read of the Washington dinner came from Blackmon’s Slavery By Another Name, which is generally an excellent book. It also has the benefit of being an extremely difficult book for liberals to attack.

    • #5
  6. user_409996 Inactive
    user_409996
    @EdwardSmith

    I wonder what writer she stole that from?

    • #6
  7. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Larry,

    …hmmmm..rhyme…..banal hack democrat flak.  Of course, yes by George I think I’ve got it.  The banal hack democrat flak thought she could certainly attack but by now she seems to have gone really rather slack.

    Does anyone have Lerner & Loewe’s email address?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    “How many southern white racist Republicans were there at that time, I wonder? Which ones were upset with him about the dinner invitation?”

    There were almost no Republicans of any stripe voting in South Carolina when FDR won his first term.  The recorded vote for 1932 showed FDR winning 98.03% of the popular vote.
    In FDR’s elections the best showing a Republican had was Dewey’s 4.5%  There were essentially no Republicans in South Carolina during that period.  The D’s always got over 95% of the popular vote in Presidential elections.

    Doris doesn’t have a clue.

    • #8
  9. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    Goodwin is one of the historians Obama had for a private dinner at the White House shortly after he was elected.  I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of this was, but I suspect he hoped to get presidential scholars, who would presumably also be writing about him, in his camp at the outset.  It is simply unconscionable to tell lies like this.  And she surely knows they are lies.

    • #9
  10. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Mr. Dart:

    Doris doesn’t have a clue.

     That depends on what you believe her intentions were. If you think that she intended to be politically effective, become famous,  get on lots of TV shows and conferences where she would be fawned over, and make stacks of cash, I believe the results speak for themselves. That’s why it’s so important that we have people like Larry making points like this and allowing her abuse of history to become an occasion for reminding journalists and Americans what the real history of the Democratic party is like.

    • #10
  11. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Edward Smith:

    I wonder what writer she stole that from?

     Surely a historian the caliber of Goodwin would not get embroiled in a plagiarism controversy. 

    • #11
  12. Crabby Appleton Inactive
    Crabby Appleton
    @CrabbyAppleton

    Don’t think of it as rewriting History.  Think of it as she does: correcting and improving  the Truth.

    • #12
  13. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Mr. Dart:

    “How many southern white racist Republicans were there at that time, I wonder? Which ones were upset with him about the dinner invitation?”

    There were almost no Republicans of any stripe voting in South Carolina when FDR won his first term. The recorded vote for 1932 showed FDR winning 98.03% of the popular vote. In FDR’s elections the best showing a Republican had was Dewey’s 4.5% There were essentially no Republicans in South Carolina during that period. The D’s always got over 95% of the popular vote in Presidential elections.

    Doris doesn’t have a clue.

     Ahem. Teddy. Not Franklin.

    • #13
  14. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Pitchfork Ben Tillman was a founder of the Populist Party that advocated an income tax and “free silver:” on economic issues he was considered one of the “Progressives” more intense in his racism, but only in degree, from that of Woodrow Wilson, Hiram Johnson or Margaret Sanger. Progressivism  believed that only by uplifting the “talented tenth” in W.E.B. Du Bios’ term, and by firm application of eugenics programs for the rest, could immigrants and minorities be fully integrated into American life.

    • #14
  15. flownover Inactive
    flownover
    @flownover

    tabula rasa:

    Edward Smith:

    I wonder what writer she stole that from?

    Surely a historian the caliber of Goodwin would not get embroiled in a plagiarism controversy.

     .177 cal

    • #15
  16. user_333118 Inactive
    user_333118
    @BarbaraKidder

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, is a disgraced plagiarist (Google for substantial details), and belongs to that cadre of  ‘female ‘progressive’ which includes such luminaries as the junior senator from Massachusetts and the former junior senator from New York.
    These ladies, all who have lived to mature years, have  succumbed  to the temptation to ‘revise’ their personal biographies and find it irresistible to do the same with their interpretation of history.
    They are seldom called on this deceptive practice because, for most liberals, the end justifies the means.

    • #16
  17. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Most liberals and the media, if they see “southern,” they jump to the term “racist” … so the rest of the phrase is a blur. Southern Democrat simply reduces to southern, so who cares what follows? And since they immediately tag the GOP with racism, they just assume it’s Republican.

    Between the last few days, suddenly America is awash with proof of racism. Convenient, isn’t it?

    First, it’s the Nevada rancher, next it’s the NBA owner (a big Democrat, by the way, who made his racist comments to his then-girlfriend … his black then-girlfriend, who relayed the comments in the aftermath of a nasty breakup.) Whether it’s from a Democrat or a Republican, it doesn’t make a difference … they’ll just assert a general, hazy “climate” of racism, and then pin the “racism climate” on the lily white stereotype of the GOP.

    That’s why they’ll jump to whatever conclusion, no matter how stretched it might be, to connect conservatives with racism.

    No, it couldn’t possibly be a deliberate strategy, could it?

    • #17
  18. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    James Of England:

    … During a period when Southern blacks governed by solidly Democratic legislatures were routinely denied the vote, their chief lever of political power was their continued ability to take part in the selection of the Republican presidential nominee. Because the whites overwhelmingly voted Democratic, Southern Republican parties were heavily African American. This is partly why the Republicans continued to support civil rights as keenly as they did for as long as they did, since that voting block was often decisive for the GOP nomination (which, in turn almost guaranteed the White House).

    … 

    James, this is something I have never thought about and that is that we know the southern (mostly black, as you say) Republicans had no chance in the general elections for any electoral votes to go to the president from their states but they could have a say in who is Republican nominee elected in the primaries by the number of their Republican delegates.
    (Sorry I haven’t been available after posting this as I published this just before going to church and have been tied up a little afterward.)

    • #18
  19. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    Between the last few days, suddenly America is awash with proof of racism. Convenient, isn’t it?

    Every freaking week, if not everyday, there is something, no matter how trivial or innocent. It being Sunday, we have a new week ahead of us to find out who’s racist.

    • #19
  20. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    My sister bought me that book in December. She saw the interview with Goodwin on John Stewart. I haven’t read it yet, but i’ll keep this is mind.

    • #20
  21. user_30416 Member
    user_30416
    @LeslieWatkins

    I think she made a really bad error. A good copyeditor would have queried that. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s corrected in a later edition.

    • #21
  22. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    Randy Weivoda:

    I’ve become so used to history being twisted when it comes to race that I was almost surprised when I saw the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln. It actually showed that it was the Republican party that struggled to end slavery, and the Democrats who struggled to preserve it. After you’ve been lied about so often it’s almost disconcerting to hear someone on the left tell the truth.

     I was so surprised when I heard Tommy Lee Jones state so explicitly and so emphatically that it was the RE-PUB-LI-CAN party. That movie left you with no doubt as to who was the champion of that amendment and it was pretty good about who was against it. I loved that movie. I’ve read a lot about Lincoln over the years and Daniel Day-Lewis brought him to life. Also, Sally Field was a great casting choice for Mary Todd Lincoln — she actually stole some of the scenes she was in.

    • #22
  23. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    flownover:

    She is a paid operative of the DNC and busily revising history so their GOP is racist theme which they are preparing for the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential will have the heft of a long book . Goodwin has been discredited more than once already. Hackdom, thy name is Pulitzer (these days) .

     Funny you would say this — and maybe you saw the post when I first put it up — I had a caption under Goodwin’s picture that said this: “Goodwin, Paving the way for Hillary and burnishing the Progressive Label.”
    It does seem obvious, doesn’t it?

    • #23
  24. HeartofAmerica Inactive
    HeartofAmerica
    @HeartofAmerica

    There is a huge distinction between a historian and an author. Kearns Goodwin is an author. Don’t be fooled.

    • #24
  25. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Leslie Watkins:

    I think she made a really bad error. A good copyeditor would have queried that. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s corrected in a later edition.

     I think it would be a really hard mistake to make if you were remotely familiar with the period. Since DKG was writing a book on the period when she vomited her hate onto the page, I’d like to think that she’d read some material on the subject recently enough that she’d remember a little.

    Incidentally, I forget if there’s a way to be more aggressive in getting things to the main page. Should I PM someone? Who?

    • #25
  26. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    KC Mulville:

    Between the last few days, suddenly America is awash with proof of racism. Convenient, isn’t it?

    First, it’s the Nevada rancher, next it’s the NBA owner …, who relayed the comments in the aftermath of a nasty breakup.) Whether it’s from a Democrat or a Republican, it doesn’t make a difference … they’ll just assert a general, hazy “climate” of racism, and then pin the “racism climate” on the lily white stereotype of the GOP.

    That’s why they’ll jump to whatever conclusion, no matter how stretched it might be, to connect conservatives with racism.

    No, it couldn’t possibly be a deliberate strategy, could it?

    I’ve always said that this is the main reason the MSM and all the leftists were so ga-ga over Obama. He was the perfect stalking horse in 2008 — there was no down side and a huge up side if the candidate would play ball with all the race-mongers on the left. They got the exactly right person with his Marxism and anti-Americanism thrown in to clinch the deal.

    • #26
  27. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    Leslie Watkins:

    I think she made a really bad error. A good copyeditor would have queried that. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s corrected in a later edition.

     My mind went this way:

    she wrote it differently to begin with and one of the leftists involved in promoting this Progressive meme going through the country now insisted that she couldn’t say it the way it read on the page — the actual truth, that is. Then she was convinced to write it another way for the good of the country.
    Or this was done absolutely intentionally, with great forethought and some discussion with the reviewers who wanted this book to play a role in our national politics. 

    Will it be redacted or edited in future editions? That’s very interesting. The left hates to admit it was wrong. I doubt it.

    • #27
  28. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    kylez:

    My sister bought me that book in December. She saw the interview with Goodwin on John Stewart. I haven’t read it yet, but i’ll keep this is mind.

     Though I like the book it is very pro-union and very pro big government and tracing the thinking of big government to the era of Roosevelt and Taft. Goodwin doesn’t seem to have a discriminative faculty in her brain when it comes to this stuff — she is almost rapturous in covering all the wonderful things that Roosevelt did. I found myself very puzzled in her handling of the strike in 1902: she talks about how wonderful the union organizer (John Mitchell) was and how evil the mine owners were. They had this big meeting with TR and the mine owners talk about how some of their workers had been killed. This is mentioned in passing but she never follows this critical thread. In my opinion that is the ONLY thing that mattered. Who committed the murder? Were they prosecuted? Who fanned the flames to get people killed? This should have been dealt with before anything else was discussed. 

    • #28
  29. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Leslie Watkins:

    I think she made a really bad error. A good copyeditor would have queried that. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s corrected in a later edition.

     

    If I could just quibble with you a little: Even a lousy copy editor would have queried that.

    • #29
  30. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Larry Koler:

    James Of England:

    James, this is something I have never thought about and that is that we know the southern (mostly black, as you say) Republicans had no chance in the general elections for any electoral votes to go to the president from their states but they could have a say in who is Republican nominee elected in the primaries by the number of their Republican delegates. (Sorry I haven’t been available after posting this as I published this just before going to church and have been tied up a little afterward.)

     It didn’t have to be that way. When they were disenfranchised from the general election vote, the GOP could have perfectly respectably disenfranchised them from the party, too. I’m kind of proud of our party for taking the high road on that decision.

    I’m also kind of jazzed about the OUP finally getting to this period this year: Bruce Schulman’s Reawakened Nation: The Birth of Modern America, 1896–1929. I like Schlaes’ and Pietruzsa’s work, but I’ve always felt that to appreciate the genius of Harding/ Coolidge you need the context, and this promises to be great.

    • #30
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