Saturday, October 27, 2012

SKIN by A.P. Brooks

Sending this one off with a wing and a prayer...A.P. did research at the Archives where my husband works. When her book was released, we got an email. I had been meaning to read it for a long time. I had a friend coming round who I wanted to pass it on to, so I read it this morning. It was very good, to me. History that reported what went on without the benefit of rose-colored glasses. History from the peoples' perspective, from an archeological perspective, rather than that of the "victor". Some say History is written by the victors.  No's written from the heart of a woman wise enough to see the truth, and how it affects those who may survive and thrive despite man's inhumanity to man.  It also is a book of hope.

Snip from her facebook page, hope she'll forgive me

From Amazon:

Right after I got done reading it,  I sent my own "review" to the author, and I think it gives a good synopsis, a good idea of what you might find.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

My husband, a historian, says history is written from the victors point of view, somewhat cynically.  That is not what Peggy Brooks has done.  She has written a historical, research based study from the point of view of an anthropologist, a gifted writer, a fact-checking reporter, a teacher, a preacher, and anything BUT that romanticized nationalist who gives us heroes to worship, rather than expose the misguided notions of one's own people.  She sets up a curious idea of how we have gotten to where we are without romanticizing. I've always had it in my mind that we Europeans (okay, my people were Normans) are only a few centuries removed from barbarians, where as African tradition is much, much older. I was able to read about power under the guise of religion, the near decimation of a people by a virus carried by fleas, about a rabid racist who under the guise of science was instrumental in bringing out the notion of only allowing the fit to survive. (Hitler took the thought a step farther, to deed.) She exposes the southern mentality among the privileged class that allowed them to deny their hypocrisy, while becoming the richest part of the new country absolutely dependent for their lifestyle on the free labor of slaves.  Most interestingly, she delves into the notion that the British people rose up like a Phoenix from barbarians to world conquerors in the space of four centuries and through 2 world wars, have bankrupted themselves back into relative obscurity in comparison.

The history of African Americans and other "conquered people" is covered extensively in the last part of the book, from selective capture of slaves based on their occupations in their homelands, to the help of slaves in turning the tide of the Civil War, to an ignorant man's  "science" of race, and to the ultimate expression of false superiority based on lies in the Holocaust.  After all that ugliness, it ends in the hope that we can leave behind our violent past, and truly evolve to a people who live up to the ideals we were founded upon, and that our faith will guide us to evolve.


God love her, and you all, but if you don't mind, you might read the book and post on it, too.

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