Via Ethan at 6th or 7th comes a history of the 20th century by one Jacob Davies, in which almost every cliché of normative, Anglo-American bullshit history is zipped off in a précis that's meant to sound refreshing and informal and instead comes across as simultneously glib and ponderous, an extraordinary combination of qualities, I know, but just read it and see. It begins by suggesting that the British invented the concentration camp. False. It suggests that the Boer War was somehow a proximate cause of World War I. False. And isn't it interesting how not but a few sentences after sneering at the Brits and the Boers (whom he calls the Dutch; false) for their treatment of "brown people," he says, with glorious unselfawareness, shit like, "the War to End All Wars That Doesn't, in which approximately one kerbillion soldiers from every civilized nation on the planet are ordered into an unremarkable area of France . . ." Oh, every civilized nation. Oh, okay. He suggests that the Americans won the war. False. He seems to believe that the Russian revolution took place after the First World War. False. He appears to believe that the Roaring Twenties happened, uh, everywhere. Oy, god, I can't go on. It is a preening performance piece erecting a great pile of incoherent trash, made all the worse by its fantastical concluding thesis that "we" creatures of the twentieth-century , well:
We are the survivors of horror and threatened horror, and we are having a really hard time adjusting to the idea that maybe there won't be any more horror.Oh, blow it out your ear, you moral dandy.