Academics often say that there are two ways to use history: As a means to understand the past, or as a means to understand the present.
Even the greatest deeds of brave men can be forgotten in the mists of time – even when those deeds have a direct impact on how our world is organized today.
The Argumentative Indian is a discussion on the genesis and direction of the Indian identity, in the context of a global intercourse of ideas, ancient and recent.
Like its predecessor, The Victorians, this book is a portrait of an age, rather than a formal history.
“…we discovered that JFK and his brother had a never-before-revealed plan to stage a coup against Castro on December 1, 1963…The Mafia dons used parts of the secret coup plan to try and assassinate JFK first in Chicago, then in Tampa, and finally in Dallas. By planting evidence implicating Castro, the mob bosses prevented Robert Kennedy and other key officials from conducting a thorough investigation…”
“I found out, greatly to my surprise, that almost all of the conventional wisdom that I had read and heard about Ronald Reagan was not true at all. Beginning with the fact that he was always talked of as being passive. The man ran for president three times. Won on his third try. And in 1976 he committed the most aggressive act that an American politician can make, and that is that he ran against a sitting president of his own party. He ran against Gerald Ford and damn near beat him.”
“Part of the richness of the home culture I come from and what makes it fascinating to work in Iran as a journalist is that I wasn’t an observer. I am culturally of Iran. At the end of the day I’m not going back to a hotel room. I’m going to my aunt’s house or best friend’s house. I’m waking up in the morning to my aunt cooking pancakes.”
“I was in Baghdad as a volunteer surgeon, but operating was difficult. The city’s hospitals had treated many wounded during the bombing, depleting emergency stores. Following the arrival of the Americans, much of the remainder had been looted, the pillage continuing even as staff tried to deal with arriving casualties. Operating rooms resembled charnel-houses, with discarded surgeons’ gloves, crusted dressings and bloody clothes caked underfoot.”
“It seems to have been universal throughout North America. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, abductions by Indians were common along the eastern seaboard, especially in colonial Massachusetts and Virginia. A large number of those children also came to prefer the natives’ way of life.”
“The book takes a strongly antistatist position, and advances views that used to be common among conservatives but that today you simply don’t hear anymore.”
“I am against all organizations with the word “World” in their names. As for free trade, it is a strategy of deracinated corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of discrete nations and their peoples.”
“The formula ‘Day X’ in our documents meant the beginning of a large-scale war against the West. Our Department 12…had to participate in this through so-called ‘direct actions,’ which were clandestine acts of biological sabotage and terrorism against ‘potential strike targets’ on the enemy’s territory.”
“The issue that animated his life and his thought was that of religious intolerance. The Jews who excommunicated him at the tender age of 23 had themselves been victims of a prolonged, horrific exercise in both religious (as well as racial) intolerance. Spinoza uses this history of suffering to reason his way into uncompromising universalism, an outlook that reduces all the contingencies of birth–our religion and race and, by extension, our nationality, gender, sexual orientation–to details of no significance whatsoever in the real process of self-fulfillment.”
It is of all the Celtic kingdoms the greenest and most beautiful. Palms, wisteria, and camellias grow in Cornish gardens. Bluebells and small wild orchids bloom beside the coastal path, that winds along meadow edges above the cliffs and surf.
The principal accused was an Auschwitz commandant, one Wilhelm Boger, whose sobriquet was “The Tiger of Auschwitz.” He was a man who had been arrested after a successful post-war career, having become a rich businessman who’d never been questioned before. At that time he was in his late 60s. Of the many witnesses for the prosecution there was a woman called Frau Braun.