Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote in politicalbridge,
Bailey83221
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politicalbridge

Chapter 2: Drawing the color line; People's History of the US; Zinn

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43% of Americans have not read a book in the last year.
-- According to the National Endowment for the Arts on the 2002 US Census Bureau statistics http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2004-07-08-reading-study_x.htm

More American teenagers can name three of the Three Stooges than can name the three branches of government (59% to 41%)
-- http://www.constitutioncenter.org/CitizenAction/CivicResearchResults/NCCTeens'Poll.shtml

This project seems to be getting a slow start. It seemed like a good idea when I suggested it, but now I wonder if I was just naïve.

My own book reading has plummeted incredibly since our family bought a VCR years ago, and it even dropped more with the internet.

Frank's book What's the Matter With Kansas, shows that there has been a rich history of anti-intelletualism. Frank even argues that the conservatives are proud of their ignorance in a way. Reading all of this a few weeks ago does not surprise me in the least.

I read the 2nd chapter of Zinn, which was on the brutality of slavery. There is nothing new here. Americans have been educated about the horrors of slavery and I think Americans are generally familiar with its history.

I would like to point again to the last thread on Columbus, and why Americans generally feel shame toward our history slavery and to a lesser extent the war with the Indians, yet do not feel this way about all of our foreign invasions of the last 200 years. I think it is a good question.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/politicalbridge/3700.html?thread=58740

The next chapter of Zinn is much more interesting, and starts to cover parts of American history which most Americans are not aware of. It discusses the Bacon rebellion and the brutal treatment of indentured servants in the early colonies.