This cogent exploration of the murky world of pseudo-history, now available in paperback, reveals the proven fact, the informed speculation and the pure fiction behind lost continents, ancient super-civilisations and conspiratorial cover-ups - as well as the revisionist historical foundations behind religions such as the Nation of Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
Drawing on the best scholarship available, Ronald H. Fritze shows that in spite of strong, mainstream historical evidence to the contrary, many of these ideas have proved durable and gained widespread acceptance. As the examples in Invented Knowledge reveal, pseudo-historians capitalise on and exploit anomalies in evidence to support their claims, rather than examining the preponderance of research as a whole. From Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to 10,000 BC, the sensationalist topics of pseudo-history captivate audiences and permeate popular culture.
Invented Knowledge offers many entertaining and enthralling examples of spurious narratives, artificial chronologies and ersatz theories in a book guaranteed to intrigue, inform and provoke both sceptics and believers alike.
About the Author
Ronald H. Fritze is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Athens State University, Alabama.
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This book is not for those who find reading difficult; it is well-written, but at a fairly high level. As the subtitle suggests, it investigates false history, fake science and pseudo religions. It will offend those who cling to the belief that Atlantis was real or that Malcolm X was a saint or that there are different sub-species of the genus homosapiens. (I had to run those two words together because the censor would not allow the first two syllables to stand alone.) However, if you are fascinated by the amount of fakery and quackery that circulates, particularly since the Internet became so universal, and if you have been gulled, as I was for a while, by books such as those of Velikovsky or "1421, the year that China discovered the world", you will find this a worthwhile read.
'Lincoln rewritten: "Fellow citizens, we cannot escape pseudohistory." In heroic resistance, Fritze dives into the Augean stables of popular pseudoscholarship on pseudotopics such as Atlantis, aliens who built the pyramids, ancient catastrophes caused by near-misses with Venus, or the Israelite origin of Britons ... in his tireless analysis of the bloodlines of some of modernity's most successful claptrap - from Immanuel Velikovsky to Erich von Daniken to Heaven's Gate - Fritze does vindicate his claim that "Pseudohistory has its historiography and its genealogy of ideas". Nonsense now has its Nietzsche.' The Guardian 'In this new age of intellectual chaos, it looks like being a splendid self-regarding spring for hype-resistant readers. They can relish the prospect of hooting from the sofa as lean and hungry sceptics hunt down the peddlers of pseudo-history or pseudo-science and sink rhetorical incisors into the flabby flesh of their prey ... Invented Knowledge goes in for a more forensic dissection of modern myths about the past. Fritze ... selects a few choice myths and fads from the fringes of scholarship. He inspects enduring canards, from the Atlantis tales that took hold after the American Civil War, through the centuries-long quest for the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, up to today's taste for Chinese eunuch admirals whose fleet toured the entire globe in 1421, or the black-African ancient Egyptians whose profound wisdom gave Greece all its glory.' The Independent 'In Invented Knowledge, Ronald Fritze makes a level-headed and well-researched investigation into pseudo-knowledge, revealing the tricks used by purveyors of false and sensational ideas. He also shows how attempts to debunk the myths can add fuel to the fire.' New Scientist 'Known knowns, unknown knowns and nonsense: what better time than the post-Bush era to shine a light on the murky world of the unabashedly made-up? Ronald H. Fritze brings a seriously large torch on his journey through spurious narrative, conspiracy theories and bestselling twaddle in a veritable encyclopaedia of folly, Invented Knowledge. Read it and giggle. Or weep.' Times Higher Education '[Fritze] is a careful scholar with a gift for summarizing theories, however crackpot. He takes a historian's delight in uncovering connections between the various pseudo-histories he describes.' Times Literary Supplement 'In this enlightened diatribe, author and historian Fritze takes a hard look at pseudohistory, myths passed off as historical fact by those who "confuse the distinction between possibility and probability," either through ignorance or design (usually the latter) ... Fritz incorporates a wealth of background information and insider baseball while buttressing his own provocative contentions, making this a hearty treat for history buffs.' Publishers Weekly 'analyzes "pseudohistories,," including the fables of Atlantis, the Kennewick skull and related stories about populating the Americas, the Christian identity movement, the separatist cosmogony of the Nation of Islam, Velikovskian (and other) theories that aliens have populated the Earth, and the Bernal Afrocentric model of transmission of classical learning to the West ... meticulously researched. Recommended.' Choice 'This is a fascinating book, full of jaw-dropping details about the extravagant claims and outrageous behaviour of pseudo-historians, scientists and religionists.' Metascience 'an entertaining look at how purveyors of pseudo-knowledge of all sorts convince logical people that black is white and vice versa.' The Australian
|Atlantis: Mother of Pseudohistory||p. 19|
|Who's on First? The Pseudohistory of the Discovery and Settlement of Ancient America||p. 63|
|Mudpeople, Satan's Spawn and Christian Identity: Racist Cosmogonies and Pseudohistory Part I||p. 104|
|Mad Scientists, White Devils and the Nation of Islam: Racist Cosmogonies and Pseudohistory, Part II||p. 135|
|Pseudohistoria Epidemica or Pseudohistorians in Collusion||p. 167|
|Professors Gone Wild: The Black Athena Controversy||p. 221|
|Select Bibliography||p. 292|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 15th March 2011
Publisher: REAKTION BOOKS
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.476