March 9, 2004

Samuel Huntington is an ignorant twit

Go read Huntington's article in this month's Foreign Policy. I found it via Max Sawicky, with whom I share a common opinion of this airbag.

For Professor Huntington, we here at Pedantry are preparing an old fashioned, downhome fisking, to begin tomorrow. It is truly unfortunate when a historian can't be bothered to do any historical research. Unlike Huntington, I do know a bit about immigration patterns in American history and I know especially about patterns of linguistic assimiliation. If I had brought my copy of Language in the USA with me to Belgium, I could do this tonight, but instead I will have to actually hunt down sources on the web. So, the post I was hoping to get up tomorrow will be delayed.

Stay tuned.

Posted 2004/03/09 21:27 (Tue) | TrackBack

Heh heh heh. I can't wait. I'm actually quite divided in my opinion of Huntington (as you could probably guess); I don't like his conclusions, but I appreciate the questions he's asking, or at least the way he asks them. Back when a couple of bloggers linked to David Brooks's (quite facile, in my opinion) rejection of Huntington's thesis, I felt obliged to write a modified defense of the man, or at least his method, or at least part of it (i.e., the seriousness with which he treats the connection between language and identity, even if he misuses the connection). The results are here: No doubt you'll be able to take me apart. Anyway, I look forward to what you come up with; I've yet to see anyone who really knows the raw language data (I certainly don't) weigh in on Huntington's essay.

Posted by: Russell Arben Fox at March 9, 2004 23:18

I look forward to this fisking; however, I was under the impression that Huntington was a Political Scientist and not a historian; not that this makes his error any more excusable but just to distance historians from being associated with this lazy theorising, that some conservative political scientist theoreticians seem to be prone to.

Posted by: Conrad Barwa at March 10, 2004 0:53

Perhaps we could agree that Huntingdon transcends disciplinary boundaries?

As a Yoorpean I remember being surprised to learn that " there
were monolingual German public schools on the North Side of Chicago
until WWI". The idea of, say, state-funded monolingual Urdu schools in Bradford is pretty much inconceivable.

I have a soft spot for rancid American xenophobic rhetoric because it makes our own rancid xenophobic rhetoriticians look less like an affliction only of this continent, but the idea that America is an essentially Anglo-Protestant culture would be laughable if it were not obscene and I very much look forward to the fisking.

Posted by: des at March 10, 2004 11:51
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