“Fake History” is a pragmatic look at the real thing
- Lincoln believed that all men were equal;
- Hitler was a failed artist; and
- The good old days were good.
These are just a few of the widely held beliefs that British author and journalist Otto English (the pen name of Andrew Scott) addresses in his latest book, False Story: Ten Big Lies and How They Shaped the World. English invites readers on a journey through history – but it’s not a tour you would have been on before.
From the battlefields of World War II to the ‘discovery’ of America, English takes a magnifying glass over history and our modern beliefs, examining how they have been shaped and changed over time to become the ‘ great stories ”that we know as today.
Not your average history book
Which sets False story Apart from other work in this non-fiction area, the author not only points out the lies in things that we consider to be truths about the past, but examines how these beliefs formed over the years. time. It describes the many complex channels through which some of history’s “great stories” have traveled and what hands have helped shape them.
With dry humor and a relaxed, refreshing style, English reveals a very complex phenomenon: story and storytelling. False story is a standout non-fiction in 2021 and we can all learn something new from its pages, even the passionate historians among us.
“Fake History”: memorable quotes
Statues are not harmless artifacts. They deliberately manage to back up accounts that attribute the whole story and its actions to a carefully selected group of predominantly male individuals.
Our ancestors were born out of chaos and out of chaos. Humans need order, logic, and solace amid the lawlessness of the universe and the terrifying randomness of it all. We see patterns of animals and plows in the night sky where there are none. Many pray when needed. So, like us, they sought to impose order on things they could not understand and created gods and spirits.
In short, the “dominant narrative” of history has, at least for the last thousand years, been dictated by the “dominant people” and that means it was written by white men, about white men, for white men.
It is important to remember that the history of the world is not just that of “great men” but that of many, many other so-called ordinary people. The majority. Individuals whose lives have become entangled in the power games of politicians, emperors and kings. The unnamed soldiers in the fields of Culloden or Waterloo. The victims of the Irish and Bengali famines. Mongolian horsemen of Genghis Khan’s army. I called them the “pawns of history”, the people who were reduced to extras in “big events”. The millions who over time have been forced to sweat, work and suffer because of – or for – the ambitions of others.
Journalist and author Otto English dismantles ten of the biggest lies in history and shows how our present continues to be distorted and manipulated by fabrications of the past.
Much of what we assume to be true or are encouraged to believe to be true is simply not true. Whether it’s spread by politicians and think tanks, populists or the media, family stories from childhood or your friends’ news feed on Facebook, the fake story is everywhere and it impacts, plus in addition, our modern world.
This book dismantles the lazy and pernicious tropes of the past as Otto English sets out to restore balance and reclaim the truth from those who seek to pervert it.
False story expose everything you were not told in school and reveal why you did not learn it.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Otto English is the pseudonym of author and journalist Andrew Scott. From 2010, Scott began writing and tweeting about politics and history, drawing attention to his traveling blog. He turned to journalism and has since written for Politico, The Independent, New Statesman, Daily Mail and many other publications.
He has always been fascinated by writing history and creating political narratives, and has spoken about it on BBC News, BBC Radio 4 and LBC.
False story is published by Welbeck Publishing and is available on Exclusive Books for R297.