Another lesson in ‘mythistory’

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Many thanks to Joseph Keelan (March 30) for taking Elaine Graham’s “mythistory” (March 26) pertaining to the Roman Empire to task.

Her misinformation didn’t stop there, however.

Further on, she railed about the Intercollegiate Socialist Society (1905-1921), claiming Roger (not Robert) Baldwin and John Dewey to have been its founders.

Actually, the ISS was founded by Jack London, Upton Sinclair and other socialists; neither Baldwin nor Dewey were present at the creation. Baldwin joined years later. She’s right about his role in the ACLU, founded in 1920 to defend the right of dissent. Though disparaged today by reactionaries, it is ready to defend their First Amendment rights (Graham’s, included) as vigorously as anyone else’s.

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As for Dewey, had he belonged to the ISS, it would have been long after its founding. In 1928, Dewey was president of the League for Industrial Democracy, the successor to the ISS. His interest in democratic socialism was well-known. As for “infiltrating” the nation’s colleges, Graham should know that Dewey was anything but an infiltrator. Unafraid of challenge and debate, he was not the type to sneak his ideas through the side door of any institution. His educational, political and economic views were well-known for people to see and debate.

Put in their historical context, Marxism and other varieties of socialism, some of them Christian, are no less products of Graham’s Judeo/Christian heritage than is her own brand of fundamentalism.

That bothers, so she resorts to “mythistory.” She’s not alone in that business.

Paul McGuire, Farmington

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