I was sent an early copy of Frank Joseph’s newest edited volume titled, The Lost History of Ancient America, to review. Someone thought this was a good idea.
I’ve been pouring over this, rather brief, fact free, and poorly argued volume for some time now. It’s easy to dismiss a book like this out of hand. Its editor alone is enough for some to write it off. But that’s not what we’re about here at the blog. We want to look things over, examine the arguments, look over any ‘evidence’ provided, and evaluate these claims.
Once we’re past the obvious errors of the book, we’re left with a lot to unpack here. We’ll move through the book as it is laid out, but let’s begin at the beginning.
In the introduction, written by Frank Joseph aka Frank Collins, Joseph makes a rather strange argument starting with the title of the chapter, and continuing throughout the introduction. It’s a blatant strawman argument, starts with the title “Columbus was Last” (archaeologists already know this), and continues with Joseph hounding on the false assumption that archaeologists think that Columbus was the first European to come to the Americas. He attacks a false paradigm that he desperately needs to be true in order for his arguments to hold up. Sadly, they do not.
Not long after introducing this narrative, he branches off to start making claims that this book is a “breakthrough”, “Radically Innovative”, and that this book shall reveal “The Truth”,
“Never before and nowhere else has so much valid evidence been assembled on behalf of overseas’ visitors in America before Columbus. (Joseph 2017:11)”
“With the publication of this, the fourth in a series of articles from Ancient American magazine, skeptics no longer have an academic leg to stand on…(Joseph 2017:11)”
He then begins a preemptive attack on said ‘academics’, prematurely martyring himself to argumentum ad hominem and argumentum ad verecundiam (which this book is the very definition of). He then begins his own attacks on these faceless academics, all the while lauding himself and this collection of articles as being the real research, not just a collection of ‘dry facts, and ‘techno-jargon’.
He closes with an odd statement, more a declaration than an offering:
“History, we affirm, belongs to anyone who can appreciate it, and is not the exclusive privilege of salaried professional. But our agenda is not theirs, and we go our way.”
Here I have to break with my stated purpose, as knowing Joseph’s background and the agenda of the Ancient American magazine, make the above statement almost ludicrous. Joseph seems to be trying to make a bold statement about owning his own history, not letting ‘privileged, salaried professionals’ tell him what that history is. The chilling irony here that he’s doing this at the expense of actual native peoples, appropriating and reinterpreting, or flat out denying their recorded, known, and evidence backed histories.
It is from this launching point that we are led into the book. It promises to be both a comical and aggravating experience. There is more to this series, just follow the link: ArchyFantasies Reviews – The Lost History of Ancient America.
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