I have now read 72 pages of the 85 pages of text of The New York Times’ 1619 PROJECT, which appeared a week ago as the Sunday Magazine Section, and I want to respond to TheDudeDiogenes’ request for my evaluation of it. I hope everyone reads what I say here carefully, because I suspect no matter what I do, a good many people will misunderstand me.
What do I think of the text? I think it is terrific. It is very well done, very powerful, very much up on the latest scholarship, and of course beautifully produced. I don’t agree that it provides ideological cover for capitalism, which anyway has no need for such cover, so far as I can see, inasmuch as no one currently on the political scene, not even Bernie, poses the slightest threat to capitalism.
Indeed, the text is an enormously skillful and effective popular rendition of several generations of revisionist American historiography, the authors of which have been devoted to telling the American story in the most honest, confrontational, accurate, and racially sensitive manner possible. It is vastly better than any of the American History textbooks I have seen, and would serve well as an assignment in high school and college American History courses.
Its only fault is that it is the wrong story. I am not going to say here what the right story is, because I wrote a book about that subject, and although virtually no one has read my book, I am enough of an author and not propagandist to let that book stand as my say on the subject.