search
top

A New Book from Michael Bellesiles

Eugene Volokh notes it’s titled “1877: America’s Year of Living Violently.”, and notes its publisher mentioned:

1877 is also notable as the comeback book for a celebrated U.S. historian. Michael Bellesiles is perhaps most famous as the target of an infamous “swiftboating” campaign by the National Rifle Association, following the publication of his Bancroft Prize-winning book Arming America (Knopf, 2000) — “the best kind of non-fiction,” according to the Chicago Tribune — which made daring claims about gun ownership in early America.

How about made false claims about guns in early America, such that his Bancroft prize was rescinded once it came to light. There was no “swiftboating campaign by NRA”. Last I checked neither Clayton Cramer nor Jim Lindgren were all that cozy with NRA. To be sure, Clayton has been an active part of the RKBA movement, but he’s contributed most to the academic body of literature supporting the individual right theory, and certainly does not take orders from Fairfax.

This is already starting on a good honest footing isn’t it? No doubt his publisher would love some controversy to drum up book sales, but let’s hope knowledgeable folks go over the claims in his new book with a fine tooth comb.

8 Responses to “A New Book from Michael Bellesiles”

  1. Mad Saint Jack says:

    “of his Bancroft Prize-winning book Arming America (Knopf, 2000)”

    The book they turned into pulp.

  2. mikeb302000 says:

    One person’s pulp is another’s gospel. Just consider John Lott’s famous book, same thing.

    I’m sure you’re right about the fine tooth combs though.

  3. Literally, Knopf destroyed the unsold copies. They didn’t remainder them. That’s a pretty serious criticism when a publisher decides that it would rather spend money destroying a book, instead of at least getting a dollar or two from remaindering them.

    Nothing similar has happened to Lott’s books. While Lott did a couple of stupid things involving sock puppetry, his books have survived very careful scrutiny in a way that Armed America could not.

  4. To be sure, Clayton has been an active part of the RKBA movement, but he’s contributed most to the academic body of literature supporting the individual right theory, and certainly does not take orders from Fairfax.

    I only take orders from people that pay me–and not even very well under those circumstances!

  5. Sebastian says:

    Yeah… I’m pretty much of the same disposition :)

    But to hear the anti-gun people, we all get our marching orders.

  6. What is really amusing is the assumption that the NRA pays us to do this stuff. Even historians who weren’t on Bellesiles’ side were absolutely amazed to find that I not only wasn’t on NRA’s payroll, but that NRA had no interest in having people like me working for them.

  7. Xrlq says:

    What is “swiftboating,” anyway? Exposing true but inconvenient facts about a lying crapweasel? It’s not as though any of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were ever proven, like, wrong or anything. I guess one Swift Boat veteran was, but I don’t think he (Kerry) is the one they have in mind when they use that stupid verb.

  8. jones says:

    Swift Boating= telling the truth about a liberal.

top