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Friday, June 24, 2011

Yes, the Wild West WAS Wild

with homicide rates seven times the US average!

And violent otherwise:
"One almost cannot speak of western history without taking into account the place and power of violence in the heritage of the West."

6 comments:

  1. Should I go on the assumption that I should probably ignore everything ever written by libertarian historians? In your opinion, is there anything left (like by Higgs) that has really stood up?

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  2. I think Bob Higgs is a good scholar. I have never researched any of his specific claims further, however. Ralph Raico seems generally good. Jeffrey Rogers Hummel's book on the Civil War impressed me as well done. _America's Great Depression_ has some interesting material in it, even if it is a little weirdly assembled.

    The big thing in historical research is to actually be doing RESEARCH: You have to come in with a question, and not an answer. Partisans of all stripes, not just libertarians, too often do the latter.

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  3. I don't know why you cite this article for the claim that the West was exceedingly violent. The statement you quote is found in the article, but only as a quotation of someone else's position. The article itself argues that the West was not, in fact, the frontier of chaos scholars have often made it out to be.

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  4. The person was stating what the consensus of historians is. Why does the fact he reached a different conclusion make it somehow invalid for me to extract a quote about the consensus from his abstract?

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  5. Interesting... but I guess I'm glad Hummel is remaining on my reading list!

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  6. And Ryan, I don't mean these are the only goods works of history by a libertarian.

    The key difference: Was it an historian who happened to be a libertarian, or was it a "libertarian historian"? The works of the former are far more likely to be good than those of the latter.

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