What Are Some Examples of Bad History Books?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,925
SoCal
What about From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters? I've read that Norman Finkelstein decisively debunked the contents of that book--especially the claim that many Arab Palestinians only recently moved to Palestine from other Arab countries.
 

Son of Cathal

Ad Honorem
Oct 2008
4,311
The Bright Center of the Universe
Just about anything written by Peter FitzSimons is popular history garbage that only serves to further the commonly held but incorrect image of Australia and Australian soldiers during the First World War
 

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,781
Ohio, USA
I have been reading Harlow Giles Unger's biography of James Monroe and, I must say, it has been quite a while that I have come across a biography or history book in general that is as lacking in substance as this one. I found the first 206 pages fine enough, but then it just dive-bombed from 207 onwards. Very disappointed.
 

nuclearguy165

Ad Honorem
Nov 2011
4,781
Ohio, USA
Robin Lane Fox's ,, Alexander the Great ' '. Just his description of Gaugamela is plain stupid and ridiculous.
Unreliable, I agree, but I still found that biography very enjoyable reading. Adventure story is pretty accurate.
 
May 2019
128
Northern and Western hemispheres
How Britain Initiated Both World Wars by Nick Kollerstrom. I haven't read any of it yet but it sounds like it could be one
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,851
At present SD, USA
Never read anything by Buchanan but have read excerpts of Irving, that man is despicable.
Buchanan wrote Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. It short it's thesis is, "if only Britain stayed neutral in 1914 and Germany beat France again. Then EVERYTHING would be better. No Communism, no Hitler, no Holocaust, no World War II. Then when it gets to the second half of the book after World War I... if only Britain returned to isolation and let Hitler have his revenge, as while Hitler is responsible for the Holocaust, his war was with the Soviet Union and therefore the appeasement strategy was the best and would have stopped him... or at least saved the Empire."

Buchanan makes some points that could make some sense with regard to the consequences of the strategies employed, but much of this is in short term consequences. He ignores that Germany's September Program was no more magnanimous than what people have Versailles was... and some could argue if carried out it would be worse. He ignores that a German victory in 1914 would not remove the problems of possible Bolshevik revolution, as most of them were in Switzerland at the time. The 1917 Revolution might be prevented, but that wouldn't mean that Nicholas II or any other successor would face a stable regime that would face revolution later. And while a German victory might prevent Hitler's rise... that doesn't mean that France or Italy might not fall to some dictator ranting for revenge. Shoot, historically Italy fell to that as a victor of WWI, which would mean that a German victory might not necessarily remove Hitler if Germany doesn't get everything it wants and then some...

Thus, the book is more political than it is historical as Buchanan cherry picked his narrative and evidence and avoided any sort of evidence that might get in the way of said narrative.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,514
What about From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters? I've read that Norman Finkelstein decisively debunked the contents of that book--especially the claim that many Arab Palestinians only recently moved to Palestine from other Arab countries.
It's crude propaganda not history.
 
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