A Renegade History of the United States

I recently came across another good example of a person who has been hornswoggled and thoroughly conned by the Great Fraud Daniel Cassidy. It is in a book called A Renegade History of the United States by Thaddeus Russell, a book which has enjoyed some popularity since its publication in 2011 because it takes a radical new slant on American history. Apparently, the orthodox Pilgrim Father culture of WASP America had little importance in the development of American culture and everything original and creative in America came from the immigrant non-WASP proletariat, along with the slaves and the Indians.

His work has been controversial and has been criticised by many for claiming that many freed slaves actually missed the good old days of slavery. Yes, seriously … Whether he is right about any of this is not a question I can discuss here because I haven’t read the book and I’m not likely to either. From Googlebooks I know that pages 148-9 of this book contain an awful lot of garbage copied out of Cassidy’s book:

No matter who you are, you may very well owe much of your vocabulary to the filthy, primitive, uncivilised Irish Americans of the 19th century. If you ever use or enjoy the terms “babe”, “ballyhoo”, “bee’s knees”, “bicker”, “biddy”, “big shot”, “billy club”, “blowhard”, “boondoggle”, “booze”, “boss” etc. etc.

Russell quotes more than a hundred of the words from Cassidy’s book. In a footnote, he says that “A few critics have contested some of the broader claims made by Daniel Cassidy in his book How The Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Petrolia, CA: Counterpunch, 2007), from which this list was taken, but the sheer volume of the evidence strongly suggests that, at the very least, working-class Irish Americans greatly shaped American vernacular language.’

In other words, Russell thinks that the sheer volume of Cassidy’s claims means that some of them must be correct. This is complete nonsense, of course, which Russell could easily have discovered if he had bothered his arse looking up the origin of words like stutter, giggle or throng on Google. He could have done so easily and found out that stutter is a very old term in English cognate with German stossen, or that giggle is related to German gickeln or that throng is a Germanic term and that Irish drong is a borrowing from Germanic.  I reckon that a real historian with a spare hour and access to the internet could easily disprove the majority of the claims on this list.

So why did Russell go ahead and copy out all of this Cassidese bullshit in 2011, years after scholars had demonstrated that Cassidy was a fraud?

Who knows? Stupidity? Incompetence? Or just an obsession with narrative, with the importance of story over history and to hell with the facts if they get in the way?

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