4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2011 3:07 PM by CarrieAtAmericanHistory RSS

What is the worst edited history book you have read recently?

ekorling New User
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Being an English and History person, I am always of two minds when working in either discipline.  However, when it comes to reading things, especially historical things, it is the English Teacher side of me that is most readily tweaked when I start running into repeated and egregious typographical or stylistic errors.  In the age of spell-check and artifical intelligence that can convincingly emulate human narrative styles, it is just utterly boggling to me that such a potentially great read as Ambrose & Brinkley's Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938 is so staggeringly riddled with not only typographical errors, but out-and-out diction and punctuation errors, too!  For example, the word "cremation" is used in place of "creation" when discussing the formation of nuclear policy.  It is not a clever thing, because the word "cremation" makes absolutely no sense at all in the context of the sentence.  That is one thing.  The other is the bizarre, use of, commas where they, don't, belong.  Now, I know that many of my purely history friends and colleagues are not strong writers, they clearly do not live with the curse that I have of being drilled and drilled by obsessive grammar-nazi professors to get everything just so, but I have to think that there is something else going on here with a book of this calibre having been so poorly edited.  I have taught English as a Second Language, and so I can with some experience and authority venture the suggestion that whoever proofed this text was either unfamiliar with basic English usage or was under the influence of something illicit at the time her or she did it.


So, my vote for the Worst Edited History Book You Have Read Recently, meaning that it becomes annoying just trying to read the sentences rather than worrying about the content, has to go to Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938.  What is yours?





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