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Jun
25
2014

Remembering George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

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By Richard Widmann-

Orwell's 1984 was a major influence on historical revisionists including Harry Elmer Barnes

Orwell’s 1984 was a major influence on historical revisionists including Harry Elmer Barnes

George Orwell was born on this day in 1903 in Motihari, India. George Orwell, the pen name of the English author Eric Arthur Blair was a great influence on Twentieth Century revisionism including revisionist pioneer Harry Elmer Barnes. In his important essay, “How ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Trends Threaten American Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity,” Barnes documented the prophetic nature of Orwell’s classic. Barnes wrote:

Orwell’s book is the keenest and most penetrating work produced in this generation on the current trends in national policy and world affairs. To discuss world trends today without reference to the Orwell frame of reference is not unlike writing on biology without reference to Darwin, Mendel, and De Vries…

Orwell was educated in England at Eton College. After service with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922 to 1927, he returned to Europe to become a writer. He lived for several years in poverty. His earliest experiences resulted in the book Down and Out in Paris and London.
By 1936, Orwell had joined the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was critical of communism but basically considered himself a socialist. He was wounded in the fighting. Late in the war, Orwell fought the communists and eventually had to flee Spain for his life. He documented many of his experiences during the Spanish Civil War in his Homage to Catalonia.

Orwell’s experiences with totalitarian political regimes had a direct impact on his writing. His best-known books reflect his opposition to totalitarianism: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. In an article entitled, “Why I Write” Orwell explained:

Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism… Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.

During the Second World War, Orwell wrote a weekly radio political commentary designed to counter German and Japanese propaganda in India. His wartime work for the BBC gave him a solid taste of bureaucratic hypocrisy. Many believe that this experience provided the inspiration for his invention of “newspeak,” the truth-denying language of Big Brother’s rule in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Throughout his lifetime, the great English author continually questioned all “official” or “accepted” versions of history. At the conclusion of the war in Europe, Orwell expressed doubt about the Allied account of events and posed the following question in his book Notes on Nationalism, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear… Is it true about the gas ovens in Poland?”

Orwell died on 21 January 1950 in London at the early age of forty-seven of a neglected lung ailment. He left behind a substantial body of work and a reputation for greatness.

Partial Bibliography

  • Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)
  • Burmese Days (1934)
  • A Clergyman’s Daughter (1935)
  • Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936)
  • The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)
  • Homage to Catalonia (1938)
  • Coming up for Air (1939)
  • Inside the Whale, and Other Essays (1940)
  • Animal Farm (1945)
  • Nineteen Eighty-four (1949)
  • Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays (1950)
  • Such, Such Were the Joys (1953)
Jun
06
2014

Rialto: Anatomy of a Slapdown

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by Jett Rucker-

By No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Hewitt (Sgt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Should diversity of thought be tolerated when teaching the Holocaust?

Eighth-graders in the public schools of Rialto, California were (almost) treated to a view of the Holocaust probably never before presented in any school, public or private, in America. As a highly structured activity designed to be conducted over a period of seven days, the assignment presented material from three different Web sites with which students were to develop answers to questions such as “Was the Holocaust an actual tragic historical event or a propaganda tool?” and support the answers with citations of statements from both the presented material and other material, from two extensive websites and “the library,” to be used only if the student’s teacher “allows you to.”

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Written by Widmann in: Censorship,Free Speech | Tags:
Apr
13
2014

Remembering the Russian Crime at Katyn

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By Richard A. Widmann-

RIAN archive 897469 Handover of Katyn forest massacre materials to Poland

This week, Russian lawmakers passed a bill that would make Holocaust revisionism illegal.  The bill introduces criminal charges for “denying facts” established by the Nuremberg tribunal regarding the crimes of the Axis powers, as well as “disseminating false information about Soviet actions” during the war.  Punishment for such violations would range from a fine of 300,000 rubles ($9,230) and up to five years imprisonment.

While time is expected to reduce the emotions surrounding war, the Second World War is an exception.  The myths of the past are being canonized not only into popular expression but into law itself.  The Soviet Union’s atrocities during this period rarely fall under scrutiny.

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Mar
30
2014

Inconvenient History Volume 5 is Now Available!

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By History Behind Bars-

Inconvenient History Volume V, 2013

Inconvenient History Volume V

The softbound edition of Inconvenient History Volume V is now available! Our fifth softbound annual contains 516 pages of cutting-edge revisionist scholarship revealing the inconvenient truth on several aspects of recent history.

Inconvenient History Volume V contains all the content from our 4 issues from 2013. You will receive a softbound book with the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter issues of INCONVENIENT HISTORY.

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Mar
16
2014

Inconvenient History 2013: The Year in Review

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By Richard A. Widmann-

Josef Mengele [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Mengele’s “Medical Experiments” was our most read article of 2013.

To say that 2013 was a great year for Inconvenient History  (IH) would be putting it mildly.  While accolades have been made about the quality of our materials, the proof is in the proverbial pudding (as they say.)  Throughout the year, some 58,729 people visited the IH Website.  This represents a 40.95% increase over 2012.   Over 172,700 pages were viewed which represents a 19.31% increase over the prior year. Our single best day ever was December 14th, when some 4,206 pages were accessed.

For those of you with a technical bent, the most popular browsers for reading IH are: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari.

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Written by Widmann in: Free Speech,Historical Revisionism | Tags:
Oct
20
2013

Letter to the American Library Association on the 60th Anniversary of the Publication of Fahrenheit 451

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By Richard A. Widmann-

Fahrenheit 451

The ALA should read F451

To Whom It May Concern,

I take this moment on the anniversary of the publication of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to make you aware of a chilling campaign to ban books and limit freedom of expression.

I have learned this morning of a campaign by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) to stop the online bookseller Amazon.com from selling several titles due to what the WJC deems offensive content.  Specifically the WJC has identified several titles on-sale that they assert promote “anti-Semitism,” “Holocaust Denial,” and “White Supremacy.”  You may find the story here: http://www.jwire.com.au/news/amazon-anti-semitism-and-holocaust-denial/37750

When we speak of banned books however, we always speak of “offensive books.”

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Written by Widmann in: Censorship,Free Speech | Tags:
Sep
20
2013

Inconvenient History Annuals available for purchase

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By History Behind Bars-

Inconvenient History Annuals

London’s Big Ben behind barbed wire, as if time itself were imprisoned.

Inconvenient History is an on-line quarterly journal dedicated to the free investigation of historical matters of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Providing our journal for free to readers via the Web helps us to expose myths and falsehoods of our recent history to the greatest number of people.

For those who prefer to own hardcopies of our journal, or to simply support Inconvenient History financially, we offer softbound annual editions for sale.  We now have four annual volumes available starting with Volume 1 which collects all of our issues from 2009 up to Volume 4 from 2012.  Each volume is a virtual encyclopedia of myth-busting articles, commentary and reviews.

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Written by Widmann in: Free Speech,Historical Revisionism | Tags:
May
05
2013

Freedom isn’t free…and neither is historical truth

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By History Behind Bars-

Nagasaki - Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. An immortalized, abstractive image.

Inconvenient History is now in its fifth year of publication.  We have published over 128 articles of hard-hitting historical truth.  Clearly Inconvenient History (IH) is here to stay, but we can really use your help.

Thousands of people read IH but very few contribute.  Years ago the only way we could publish would be through hardcopy subscriptions.  Subscriptions cost money, and for small publications such as ours we likely need to charge between $50 and $60 for an annual subscription.  But we have chosen Internet publishing instead.  The advantage is that we can reach the largest number of people.  And we do so without charging a dime.

For IH to continue to grow and provide the type of historical research you can’t find elsewhere, we need your assistance.

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Written by Widmann in: Free Speech | Tags:
Jun
09
2012

Denial?

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By Richard A. Widmann-

By the mid-1990s the term “Holocaust denier” had become part of the popular consciousness and vocabulary.  Likely catapulted into media newspeak by Deborah Lipstadt’s publication of Denying the Holocaust in 1993, the new term supplanted the earlier term “Holocaust revisionist.”

While certainly the phrase of choice for those who oppose the activities of that band of scholars and independent investigators who doubt the traditional view, revisionists (my preferred label) have hotly debated which label to associate themselves with.  While several revisionists have argued strongly against the term “Holocaust denier” others have embraced it and named their Websites and at times even their on-line aliases with the term.

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Written by Widmann in: Censorship,Free Speech | Tags:
Dec
30
2011

The Censorship of Inconvenient History

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By Richard Widmann-

The team here at Inconvenient History has just learned that our Print on Demand publisher Lulu.com will no longer print or distribute our Annual editions.  The “Questionable Content Team” at Lulu has informed us that our content and in fact all revisionist writing is “illegal and anti-constitutional” in France and Germany — two of their markets.

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Written by Widmann in: Censorship,Free Speech | Tags: