SocraticGadfly: Amazon gets snippy to protect Pat Buchanan

July 10, 2008

Amazon gets snippy to protect Pat Buchanan

Amazon claims it won’t run my review of Pat Buchanan’s book of mythology, “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War,” because it gets too personal with Pat. Rather, I think, in my first and last paragraphs, it got too personal with Amazon.

Other than that, Amazon pulled the same nonsense on me in the past, claiming I concentrated too much on the personal opinions of the author. Frankly, there’s worse; several posted reviews on Amazon’s site talk about Pat’s alleged anti-Semitism, which I never touch in the review.

Rather, I think Amazon, as mentioned, is thin-skinned about itself. Judge for yourself:
Folks, when the errors start ON THE DUST JACKET, you've got a bad book. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have a negative-star rating.

Bad from the dust jacket on is indeed the case, as Buchanan perpetuates and propagates the myth of the "punitive" treaty of Versailles. Adjusted for inflation and France's smaller population, the Prussian treaty imposed at the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 was far more punitive, in terms of reparations.

And, you know what? The French paid off the whole thing. In advance. Without inflating their currency.

There's other nonsense, starting with his coverage of World War I. In the Pacific, Japan may well have declared war against Germany without any British alliance. They were smart enough not to go after British islands or American ones; that left German holdings.

As for World War II in Europe, even someone as bumbling as Hitler might have beaten the Soviet Union without Britain at his back. (The real "story" of WWII is that Hitler tried to have "guns and butter" until 1943, not putting the German economy on a total war footing until after Stalingrad.)

Then, in spite of post-Munich evidence to the contrary, Buchanan would have us believe if Neville Chamberlain and French Premier Edouard Daladier had forced Poland's Beck to appease Hitler by giving up Danzig and a rail corridor across the Polish Corridor, Hitler would never have asked anything more from Poland. (Hitler's second meeting with Chamberlain, of course, had him saying the Sudentenland was not enough.)

Then, we have the absolute laugher of Pat claiming that Hitler's motivation on attacking the USSR was not ideology. That said, re the paragraph above, also contrary to Buchanan, Hitler would not have invaded the USSR in 1940 if the British and French had not declared war on im in 1939.

Contra page 360, where Buchanan claims there's no evidence Hitler intended to make Britain a slave state, we have a Nazi list of British intellectuals and politicians Hitler intended to round up and send to concentration camps.

But, when has Buchanan let facts get in the way of a story line?

Next, "Mr. Realpolitik" reaches deep into the right-wing dungeon to trot out the old "sellout at Yalta" schtick.

Then, we get into errors in Cold War history. Many historians would argue with Buchanan that Yugoslavia was not behind the Iron Curtain after 1954. And, Buchanan also overlooks Albania's "defection" to Beijing in 1961.

Then, there's annoyances of his writing style.

I have NEVER before heard Joseph Chamberlain called "Joe," first and foremost.

And, at oversized type and leading, this is really a 300-page book, too.

Finally, we have the irony, and hypocrisy, of Buchanan criticizing Churchill on grounds of racism.

And, any legitimate puncturing of Churchill's myth can be found in real history books rather than this rag. Amazon ought to bar the tag "history" from being used on this book.

Update:After Amazon got my slightly edited review posted, at least one of St. Patrick of Bigotry’s anti-Semitic worshipers has come out of the woodwork.

Here’s an e-mail I got from “Mister GAF”:
Hi Jew Snyder,

Please remove any mention of Socrates or Socratic school of thought.

The poor man must be rolling over in his grave.

It’s obvious that you are a fucking idiot with no credentials.

I won’t bother e-mailing this bigot back, but don’t let me stop YOU from doing so.

Send “Mister GAF” some e-love if you want to.

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