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  1. #1

    Default Why is The Story of Mankind Polarizing

    While perusing the required materials for History Odyssey Ancients (2), it mentions that we don't have to use The Story of Mankind because it's polarizing. But it doesn't say WHY it's polarizing. I looked through the amazon search results, googled "Story of Mankind Hendrink van Loon controversy," etc. and still didn't find anything explaining what makes it polarizing. Short of actually reading the book (since I'd have to buy it first) to find out why it's polarizing, does anyone here know why?

    Edit: ok it's actually also available for free via Project Gutenberg. So I'm going to look into it. But still if anyone knows why it's polarizing, lemme know.
    Last edited by Bobslaststand; 05-16-2018 at 12:42 PM.

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  3. #2

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    It's old fashioned and uses old fashioned terminology and displays old fashioned attitudes about non-western cultures and peoples. Whether you think there's more under that - to say it's outright racist or sexist... well, I think that's up for debate. IIRC, it's nowhere near as blatant as many books of its time where it's obvious that it's saying that the "noble savages" were blah blah blah or that the Catholics were less washed or that Columbus was super nice to all the natives he met or whatever.

    It's also polarizing in that some people find it to be not at all engaging or interesting in terms of its style, especially for young readers. Other people like to moan that it's a good example of great writing and "kids these days" don't appreciate good books.
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Why is The Story of Mankind Polarizing