1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project
a book by Peter Wood
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that When and where was America founded? Was it in Virginia in 1619, when a pirate ship landed a group of captive Africans at Jamestown? So asserted the New York Times in August 2019 when it announced its 1619 Project. The Times set out to transform history by tracing American institutions, culture, and prosperity to that pirate ship and the exploitation of African Americans that followed. A controversy erupted, with historians pushing back against what they say is a false narrative conjured out of racial grievance.
A pirate ship
This book sums up what the critics have said and argues that the proper starting point for the American story is 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness. A nation as complex as ours, of course, has many starting points, most notably the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But the quintessential ideas of American self-government and ordered liberty grew from the deliberate actions of the Mayflower immigrants in 1620.
Schools across the country have already adopted the Times’ radical revision of history as part of their curricula. The stakes are high. Should children be taught that our nation is a four-hundred-year-old system of racist oppression? Or should they learn that what has always made America exceptional is our pursuit of liberty and justice for all?
Schools across the country have already adopted the Times’ radical revision of history as part of their curricula. Should children be taught that our nation is a four-hundred-year-old system of racist oppression? Or should they learn that what has always made America exceptional is our pursuit of liberty and justice for all?
"Peter Wood's pushback against the 1619 Project is at once sharp, illuminating, entertaining, and profound. More than a powerful exposé of the 1619 Project's mendacity, Wood's 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project explains why so many Americans have succumbed to this exercise in manipulation—and shows the way to fight back."--Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
"Via Peter Wood, the 'civil body politic' of the Mayflower Compact reasserts itself in the national conversation. 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project is a dispassionate, clear reminder that the best in America's past is still America's best future."--Amity Shlaes, chair, Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation
"With elegant precision Peter Wood dismantles the edifice ostentatiously called a 'reframing' of American history, the 1619 Project. He deftly exposes the jumble of lies, half-lies, logical fallacies, bad history, and bad faith of a project motivated by greed and hatred of America. For anyone who cares about history, education, truth, and the United States of America, 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project is essential reading."--Mary Grabar, resident fellow, Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization
Obozo was one of the main perpetrators of the leftist, racist cultural shakedown that introduced America as an ugly, hateful nation full of evil slavery advocates, and leftists wish to spank all nonblacks as evil victimizers
"Peter Wood's 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project claims the prize as the most comprehensive response to the ill-fated 1619 Project. In a thorough review of the text, Wood accounts for every argument for and against. He appropriately honors the Project's intention to pursue a mission of redress, while nevertheless pinpointing its consistent resort to misrepresentation that cannot be dismissed as merely different interpretation. Wood identifies the heart of the matter: Surely there are ways to incorporate a forthright treatment of slavery, racism, and the black experience into the story of America's rise as a free, self-governing, creative, and prosperous nation. The key to doing that is to put the pursuit of the ideals of liberty and justice at the center of the story. The 1619 Project failed in that for the sufficient reason that its purpose was cultural shakedown, not cultural affirmation. That is made plain in this necessary work."--William Allen, emeritus dean and professor, Michigan State University
Slaves picking cotton
"Peter Wood's survey of the landscape of scholarly criticism has provided a valuable service, both in assessing the heated historical debates around the 1619 Project and by offering readers an accessible roadmap with which to navigate its many controversies. Unfortunately the New York Times has thus far conspicuously avoided the most salient criticisms of its work. This helpful guide masterfully curates the scholarly scrutiny that the newspaper evaded and ignored, equipping the reader to approach the 1619 Project with a discerning eye for evidence-based history."--Phillip W. Magness, senior research fellow, American Institute for Economic Research
"Those of us who remain attached to the principles of the Founding need to read 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project with both care and gratitude. For Peter Wood, like a highly trained commando, has advanced to the front lines to clear away the dangerous rubbish put forth by the 1619 Project. With critical skill and in clear prose, he has opened multiple avenues of assault on a misguided enterprise that in trying to rewrite history deserves to end up on its ash-heap."--Robert Paquette, president, The Alexander Hamilton Institute, emeritus professor of history, Hamilton College
Slaves running away
"The 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans at Jamestown could have been a great and unifying moment for America. It could have reinforced the assertion of African American scholar W.E.B. DuBois that "before the Pilgrims landed we were here," meaning that people of African descent have always been a part of American history, and helped all Americans to see that their climb toward equality and dignity is a vital strand of that history. But instead the New York Times' 1619 Project took its bearings from the opposite view: that there has never been a place for African Americans in that larger American history, because racism was embedded in the American DNA at the beginning. Such a view is both historically false and morally corrosive, as Peter Wood demonstrates in this superb, well-researched, fair-minded, and surprisingly elegant book. Anyone who cares about these matters will need to read it. All Americans ought to."--Wilfred McClay, Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty, University of Oklahoma
1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project sums up what the critics have said and argues that the proper starting point for the American story is 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness
The 1619 Project is about politics, not history. The truth of that period of history is quite different. Peter Wood does a great job of refuting the ugly propaganda and sneaky, hateful power-play of the 1619 Project with this new book, 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project. Revising American history to try to fit a political agenda is a terrible idea.
This book will tell you the truth about this critical time in American history. Almost all historical scholars on the left or right dispute the inaccurate and ugly concept that America was founded only to protect the worldwide institution of slavery. The primary motivator of America's founding was freedom of religion and speech. But that doesn't work as well for some people with a nasty political agenda to preach. Propagandists will hate Wood's accurate account of history using facts over feelings. These regressive PC-obsessed freaks believe truth can be calculated by the strength of one's feelings about it, thereby denying nearly everything mankind has learned in the past few centuries.
There has been slavery for as long as there have been people, including in what is now America where it flourished before the Pilgrims were even born which 1619 Project people would have known had they bothered to study their history
We need truth in history, not politics, and Peter Wood gives us the true account. If you want to know just how wrong the 1619 Project is, this is an excellent rebuttal by a great writer. You may notice that this ugly, racist lie about our country is being snuck into our children's curriculum wihout discussion, debate, or delay. The majority of our nation are patriots who want nothing to do with this evil indoctrination of young minds. But the leftist radicals are forcing it down unwilling throats whether we like it or not. These divisive lies remind one of Hitler's big lies about Jews and Mao's big lies about Chinese society, both of which led to horrible consequences. The New York Times should be terribly ashamed of themselves for publishing this nastiness.
Martin Luther King—a civil rights leader
Every participant in the entire system of slavery (which was occurring everywhere in the world for many centuries and is still going strong) was wrong and will forever be a terrible stain on world history as well as America’s history. But we made it right, we changed the country forever in the century after the Civil War, especially in the 1960s civil rights era. We paid for the change with our ancestors lives in the Civil War.
Most Americans love their country and have little patience for politically correct liberal extremists who seem willing to dump democracy
Is the 1619 Project out to destroy America, thereby making the New York Times co-conspirators in their treasonous endeavor? Most Americans love their country and have little patience for politically correct liberal extremists who seem anti-American, socialist, Marxist, obsessed with identity politics, and most of all angry, hateful, intolerant, biased, and willing to dump democracy, freedom, capitalism, patriotism, the Constitution, and—especially—freedom of speech. It is time to boycott the New York Times as anti-American, socialist propagandists who care nothing for truth or history but are willing to kowtow to ugly Marxist lies thereby making both China and Russia very happy but thinking Americans very unhappy.
You might well ask WHY would the 1619 Project want to destroy America and flush the Founders down the toilet; the short answer is to gain power and wealth for the liberal elite
You might well ask WHY would the 1619 Project want to destroy America? What they want is a liberal utopia where you have the right to believe the tenets of the racist, hate-filled liberal narrative and be willing to spout this propaganda on command. If you actually have a brain and you think for yourself, you'll be unwilling to be a sock puppet for the woke radical crowd, and you will be arrested by the thought police and hauled away to re-education camps where they brainwash you 24 hours a day until your poor confused mind is ready to spout the sick racist crap that comprises the hate-filled liberal narrative. Then they will let you go with a warning, back to their liberal utopia where you have the right of free speech—as long as you speak only the propaganda they've indoctrinated you with.
If this picture of our nation's founding makes you feel proud and patriotic, you belong here, but if it makes you feel sad and ashamed, you do not understand history, civics, or America and you might wish to move to a country more suited to your hateful, anti-American feelings
The 1619 Project shows that the road to hell is paved with good intentions
You might well ask WHY would the liberal radicals consider the above hell to be a utopia when it is obviously a sick, sad, hate-filled dystopia? Here is where it gets very interesting: Like all socialist states, the society ends up being dystopian for the citizens, but utopia for the leaders. The leaders, of course, are picked from the liberal elites, and they are in charge, doing whatever they want to whomever they feel like. The citizens are sad, hating the realities of true socialism, and wishing to return to our pseudo-democracy, which was at least better than socialist tyranny. But there is no way, since all weapons have been confiscated early on and there are no more elections since they were all rigged and had been since the election was stolen from Trump in 2020.
The liberal radicals behind the 1619 project are champing at the bit to take us to hell in a handbasket
Note that the liberals had pretended that the hate-filled liberal narrative was really about reversing all the racism in our "horribly racist society," to be overseen by leftist radicals who want to reroute a lot of the wealth in the USA into the hands of black Americans. This was all about the liberals' extreme compassion for blacks, so the ludicrous story goes. Under all these progressive disguises and pretenses was some raving mad people with extreme ambitions. They want to be queens and kings with godly powers and tremendous wealth. So they used the long con of "systemic racism" detection which they could only cure if we granted them godlike powers to dump the Constitution and democracy—ALL of which were dripping with racism installed by evil white men who were racist victimizers. They even came up with an ugly bunch of lies called the 1619 project which they were going to insert into every young mind in the country.
As you can see from the above, the progressives are a two-faced bunch
Polarization. Divisiveness. Divide and conquer. Rile up the citizens until they were at each other's throats. Let things get really bad, until red and blue factions were shooting and bombing each other. Then swoop in with Deep State heroes who'd been hiding in plain sight in places like the FBI, and offer permanent and eternal security and peace in exchange for freedom and rights. Like when the government offered the security of surveillance at the price of privacy, during Obozo's corrupt reign. Yet their surveillance provided security not for US, but for THEM. They planned, in the Deep State, for us to lose our privacy first and then our guns and then our speech freedoms—and so on. What would be left would be merely helpless sheep who had those in charge telling them to jump and the sheep would bleat: "How high? Baaaaaaa!"
The liberals plan to rule over sheep they keep shearing and when elites tell them to jump they bleat: 'How high? Baaaaaaa!'
It is hard for sane people to believe the things the soon-to-be-aristocracy liberal elites are willing to do in order to achieve power and wealth. We used to believe the greedy capitalists would do just about anything to get even more wealth to cram into their full-to-bursting moneybins. But these people are nothing compared with the liberal elite's long con ending up with them as aristocracy, and the rest of us as serfs—serfs carrying royalty. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, these were sneaky dudes with evil plans to gain power by playing divide and conquer by finding a common enemy to hate and then these enemies were liquidated and the glorious leaders were put on pedastals with infinite powers. We conservatives are the evil enemies of the liberals that must be liquidated/neutralized/canceled, and the divide and conquer game is in full swing.
We used to believe the greedy capitalists would do just about anything to get even more wealth to cram into their full-to-bursting moneybins. But these people are nothing compared with the liberal elite's long con ending up with them as aristocracy, and the rest of us as serfs
The liberal elite's long con has them ending up as aristocracy, and the rest of us as serfs—serfs carrying royalty
In Orwell's 1984, the Thought Police insured conformity while Ministry of Truth workers rewrote history. Today, the liberal elites are already rewriting history as we speak (2020) and their cancel culture insures conformity!
Our glorious liberal elites will save us from the horribly racist, evil, greedy conservatives if we put them into power so they could disempower the entire rightwing, take their rights and guns and wealth, and then "make these enemies pay for ever voting for Trump," as the Obamas both have said. But while all this power and wealth is stolen from conservatives, few notice that it all ends up in the laps of the soon-to-be-aristocracy liberal elites. Sneakiest long con in all of history. In Orwell's 1984, the Thought Police insured conformity while Ministry of Truth workers rewrote history. The liberal elites are already rewriting history as we speak (2020) and their cancel culture insures conformity! There are the four keys Orwell saw to help Big Brother retain power: perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda. The Ministry of Truth rewrites history, which is happening now in 2020. The Ministry of Truth controls information: news, entertainment, education, and the arts in 1984, just like the liberal elites do today, calling everything from the conservatives a rotten racist lie in spite of the fact the Democrats were the racists behind the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights and integration, and Jim Crow laws, while Republicans championed civil rights. The liberals' actions since 2016 have been a Deep State coup d'état that the liberal media swore never happened, and yet the stolen 2020 election says different.
Hannah-Jones (not shown) embodies the movement of campus snowflake culture into the 'real world' . . . In the old days, Hannah-Jones might have been dubbed a 'spoiled child.'
". . . historian Phillip Magness exposed the stealth edits of the 1619 Project’s claim to be the story of America’s “true founding.” In light of this journalistic malfeasance, Wood helped to organize a letter signed by numerous scholars (Stanley Kurtz included) calling on the Pulitzer Committee to withdraw the prize given to Hannah-Jones and The New York Times for the 1619 Project. That letter, published on October 6 at the website of Wood’s group, the National Association of Scholars, was widely discussed, including by a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on October 7. Two days later, on October 9, Wall Street Journal editorial page alumnus, Bret Stephens, now an opinion columnist at The New York Times, published a devastating attack on the falsehoods, distortions, and irresponsible journalistic conduct surrounding the 1619 Project in the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times itself. Although the Times has offered a highly unsatisfactory response, deep damage had been done—and rightly so—to the journalistic credibility of [1619 Project’s creator, Nikole] Hannah-Jones, the 1619 Project, and The New York Times. . . . To all appearances, Hannah-Jones is a grown-up 'cry-bully.' She embodies the movement of campus snowflake culture into the “real world” . . . In the old days, Hannah-Jones might have been dubbed a 'spoiled child.'" (Source: A Book for Our Times: Peter Wood’s 1620 Skewers 1619 Project, Stanley Kurtz, National Review)
As the reviewers told us, for anyone who cares about history, education, truth, and the United States of America, 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project is essential reading. A perfect—if concise—summary.