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History as Mystery

History as Mystery cover
0-87286-357-3 (paper)
0-87286-364-6 (cloth)
City Lights Books, 1999

In a compelling challenge to mainstream history, Michael Parenti does battle with a number of mass-marketed historical myths. He shows how history's victors distort and suppress the documentary record in order to perpetuate their power and privilege. And he demonstrates how historians are influenced by the professional and class environment in which they work. Pursuing themes ranging from antiquity to modern times, from the Inquisition and Joan of Arc to the anti-labor bias of present-day history textbooks, History As Mystery demonstrates in fascinating detail how past and present can inform each other and how history can be a truly exciting and engaging subject.

      What they are saying about History As Mystery:

“Those who keep secret the past, and lie about it, condemn us to repeat it.  
Michael Parenti unveils the history of falsified history, from the early Christian church to the present; a fascinating darkly revelatory tale.”
Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Pentagon Papers
    “Deserves to be an instant classic.”
    Bertell Ollman, author of Dialectical Investigations
    “With History As Mystery, Michael Parenti, always provocative and eloquent, gives us a lively as well as valuable critique of orthodoxy posing as ‘history’”
    Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States



  1. History As Miseducation
    Mainstream Orthodoxy
    The Hunt for Real History
    Textbooks: America the Beautiful
    For Business, Against Labor
    The School as Tool
  2. Priests and Pagans, Saints and Slaves
    Triumph of the One True Faith
    Silencing the Pagans
    Accepting the Powers that Be
    Affluent Believers
    Saints for Slavery
  3. Bishops and Barbarians, Jezebels and Jews
    The Myth of the Devout Peasant
    The Curse of Eve
    The Burning of Books
    Preparing the Holocaust
  4. History in the Faking
    Suppression at the Point of Origin
    Cold War in the Archives
    Classified History, USA
    Listening to the Muted Masses
  5. In Ranke’s Footsteps
    His Majesty’s Servant
    An “Aristocratic Profession”
    Purging the Reds
    Publishing and “Privishing”
    Marketing the Right Stuff
  6. The Strange Death of President Zachary Taylor,
    A Study in the Manufacture of Mainstream History
    Examining the Examination
    Confrontation with the Slavocracy
    A Lethal Dose of Cherries and Milk?
    Honorable Men and Official History
  7. Against Psychopolitics
    Depoliticizing the Political
    Dubious Clinical Data
    Lenin as Oedipus
    The Compulsive Hoover
    The Political Hoover
    When the Political Becomes Personal

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