Friday, April 18, 2008

History Lesson

John Leo reviews Mary Lefkowitz's book about her challenge of questionable but fashionable claims. An excerpt:

Outraged by the nonscholarly approach of Afrocentric writers, she somewhat naïvely imagined that facts would put their extreme theories to rest. She noted, for instance, that Socrates couldn't have been black, as alleged, because his parents were Athenian citizens and blacks, in classical Athens, were not eligible for citizenship. She noted, as well, that Aristotle would have had a tough time stealing his philosophy from the library at Alexandria, since he died before the library was built. Such arguments went nowhere, Ms. Lefkowitz writes, with those who saw Greek philosophy "as yet another case of a colonialist European plundering of Africa."

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