Back in August, the New York Times launched “a major initiative” it called the 1619 Project, seeking to examine our country’s history as if it began in 1619, the year the first slave ship arrived in Virginia.

The idea caught on, and presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke went all in:

Of course, Americans decided they didn’t want Beto O’Rourke to be the one to help build a better future for Americans, but Buttigieg is riding high in the polls.

Christina Sommers, host of YouTube’s “The Factual Feminist,” somehow managed to find an interview with Princeton professor emeritus and Civil War historian James McPherson on “an obscure socialist website.” Yes, the interviewer asks McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Battle Cry for Freedom,” about Karl Marx’s writings on the Civil War, but he also asked about the Times’ 1619 Project.

McPherson’s reply:

Because this is a subject I’ve long been interested in I sat down and started to read some of the essays. I’d say that, almost from the outset, I was disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery, which was clearly, obviously, not an exclusively American institution, but existed throughout history. And slavery in the United States was only a small part of a larger world process that unfolded over many centuries. And in the United States, too, there was not only slavery but also an antislavery movement. So I thought the account, which emphasized American racism — which is obviously a major part of the history, no question about it—but it focused so narrowly on that part of the story that it left most of the history out.

That’s funny, because that’s the same complaint that Jim Geraghty had back in August: Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Jesse Owens, the Tuskegee Airmen, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks, among many others, warranted no mention at all.

Another thing we did learn from the interviewer: the 1619 Project has been distributed to schools as a glossy magazine and has been adopted by some into the curriculum. But at least the interview exists.

Here’s someone going for their doctorate in early American history:

It’s probably fair to say the New York Times had the narrative they wanted to push before they actually compiled the essays.

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