1620 A critical response to the 1619 Project

Peter Wood, 1953-

Book - 2020

"When and where was America founded? Was it in Virginia in 1619, when a pirate ship landed a group of captive Africans at Jamestown? So asserted the New York Times in August 2019 when it announced its 1619 Project. The Times set out to transform history by tracing American institutions, culture, and prosperity to that pirate ship and the exploitation of African Americans that followed. A controversy erupted, with historians pushing back against what they say is a false narrative conjured ou...t of racial grievance. This book sums up what the critics have said and argues that the proper starting point for the American story is 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness. A nation as complex as ours, of course, has many starting points, most notably the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But the quintessential ideas of American self-government and ordered liberty grew from the deliberate actions of the Mayflower immigrants in 1620."--Back cover.

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2nd Floor 973.00496/Wood Due May 21, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York, New York : Encounter Books 2020.
Edition
First American edition
Language
English
Physical Description
262 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781641771245
1641771240
Main Author
Peter Wood, 1953- (author)
  • What is the 1619 Project?
  • October 1492
  • November 1620
  • August 1619
  • August 2019
  • 1776
  • 1775
  • March 2020
  • March 1621
  • April 1861
  • January 1863
  • October 1621
  • January 2020
  • September 2020
  • The future.
Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The book starts with an account of the arrival of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in November 1620, which is to say that it endorses a very old idea of the best place to catch the first glimmer of the American republic: 1620, not 1619. I'm well aware thatthe claims of 1620 have their own weaknesses. The country's "very origin," as the Times puts it, isn't something that can be settled once and for all. Many threads from many origins all eventually cohere into a nation. But there is something vital about 1620 that is worth pointing out and that is increasingly lost to national consciousness in our multicultural age. 1620 is a strong counterpoint to 1619, not just in proximity but in spirit. The rest of the book is best thought of as a voyage of discovery,so I will forego the usual practice of offering an advance tour of the chapters. What will come, will come"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When and where was America founded? Was it in Virginia in 1619, when a pirate ship landed a group of captive Africans at Jamestown? So asserted the New York Times in August 2019 when it announced its 1619 Project. The Times set out to transform history by tracing American institutions, culture, and prosperity to that pirate ship and the exploitation of African Americans that followed. A controversy erupted, with historians pushing back against what they say is a false narrative conjured out of racial grievance.This book sums up what the critics have said and argues that the proper starting point for the American story is 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact aboard ship before the Pilgrims set foot in the Massachusetts wilderness. A nation as complex as ours, of course, has many starting points, most notably the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But the quintessential ideas of American self-government and ordered liberty grew from the deliberate actions of the Mayflower immigrants in 1620.Schools across the country have already adopted the Times’ radical revision of history as part of their curricula. The stakes are high. Should children be taught that our nation is a four-hundred-year-old system of racist oppression? Or should they learn that what has always made America exceptional is our pursuit of liberty and justice for all?