But it’s Historical!
Old stuff, textbooks, past events, etc.
Old stuff, textbooks, past events, etc.
Submitter: I work in a small, bilingual K-12 private school in the Persian Gulf. By upper school, English is the primary language of study, but it is not the students’ first language, so the kids don’t have the same understanding of what words (and attitudes!) are thankfully no longer considered acceptable in most of the Anglophone world.
This magnified my distress at the following submission, which should have been weeded long, LONG ago on the basis of almost every conceivable weeding criterion: age, condition, age, offensiveness, age and inaccuracy. I am only sending a few of many illustrations of steam-operated textile and farm equipment, to say nothing of what the book terms “our Indian fellow-subjects” or “Indian natives.”
Most disturbing of all is the fact that I found a relatively recent weeding note in the book’s back pocket: “KEEP: “objectionable (pp.19, 24) but good for historiography, +detailed technically.”
If she opted to keep this, I would dearly love to see the items she opted to weed! Yes, it is detailed technically–for 100 years ago!
It is hard to cut my ranting short on this one. Read the samples for yourselves.
The frontispiece is entitled “NEGROES PICKING COTTON in the Southern United States.”
Holly: Historiography? When was the last time you had a historiography reference question in the children’s department? And I mean a real historiography project that would even begin to use a book like this. I can’t imagine any circumstance that would have me putting this book in a child’s hands. Or an adult’s hands, for that matter.
Teachers of Destruction: Their Plans for a Socialist Revolution
Submitter: The title alone [is awful]; a play on words but quite grave. I’m pretty sure we’d all know to be scared of “stormtroopers of destruction” or “zombies of destruction,” or even “sharks of destruction,” but teachers? Definitely didn’t see that coming, very sneaky.
Some subheadings and quotes:
“some capitalists even back Hitler” to explain businesses who support “leftist” causes.
“While comfortable, complacent Americans went to church or played golf, or lolled around at home reading papers or watching television Sunday morning, a Black Power panel session took place at the Socialist Scholars Conference. ”
As an “eyewitness” (stated in the title), Widener “overhears” most of the things she reports on, there are no footnotes, she didn’t interview anyone associated with these secret and open meetings, in fact it seems she didn’t even bring a tape recorder.
Commenting on the fashion choices of attendees of a conference: “There were no old ladies in tennis shoes at the Princeton University SDS conference.”
Holly: I’m surprised this got published at all, with such questionable “sources” (by The Citizens Evaluation Institute, whatever that is/was). I’m even more surprised it stayed on the shelf of the academic library where it was found for this long. Oh wait, “But it’s historical!” Of course it is. Now recycle it.
Submitter: I was excited to find this book on our elementary library shelves, thinking it was some cool vintage book about the disco era. It was not. Whereas the fashion & music of the 70′s lives on, this book’s focus is on the disco lifestyle, which probably died around the time this book was published. I especially love the part about people being so committed to the disco scene that they quit their jobs (and might be available for hire to throw a disco party at your house!). I guess that sounds better than saying you got fired because you regularly stay out until dawn at Studio 54 & now you’re looking for a place to hang out while you wait for your coke dealer, right? This book is definitely not Stayin’ Alive… It’s getting weeded.
Holly: This is one of the more interesting Disco covers I’ve seen. The person in the weird costume (what is that a costume of? A lightbulb?) and the cool building with the lit-up pillars and the super high, warehouse-type ceilings – it’s all very…well, disco. A better choice would be a book about the disco culture of the 1970s-80s that treats it as history. (Disco: the Music, the Times, the Era, copyright 2011, by Johnny Morgan looks good.) A bigger problem, to me, is whether this ever belonged in an elementary school library.