Liberal Fascism

Mail Call: Teach the Children Well

From a reader:

Jonah,   Hope you do not object to the familiarity of the greeting.  Just finished Liberal Fascism.  I found it a fascinating read. 

As a teacher of American history I find the discussions of key issues in American politics and the underlying struggles that those arguements represent abyssmal in most textbooks; some of the “storylines” presented are clearly driven by leftist philosophy but the technocrats have muddied the water sufficiently with evaluative high stakes tests that most young teachers can’t see the forest for the trees.  For me teaching is a second career and so I apply some of my prior knowledge as a conservative thinker to what I am presenting.  I pointed out to my co-teacher that our book talks about upper, middle and “working” classes and that the formulation is patently a political statement.  I told my class to use the term “laboring” classes because it is a more accurate descriptor.  But I digress.  I found the intellectual history of fascism as you presented it intriguing.  The “so what” part of the Afterword anticipated a feeling that I had as I was reading; I just wish there was a “here’s what you can do” section as well.  I fight the battle on a daily basis amongst students who live in a community that has bought into the idea of governmental reward just because you are who you are, it is disconcerting and disturbing on many levels.  I do not pull punches with my students, however.  I give them my interpretation, tell them that is my opinion and never shy away from expressing that there is another way to think about historical questions.  For this reason, I love the twist of the historical prism that you have provided in your book.  I hope that after the next election, we will still retain the freedom to pose such modifications of the interpretation of historical circumstance.   Keep up the great work.   Regards,  [Name withheld]

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