Westport, CT (PRWEB) November 18, 2015
Award winning historian Nathan Allen decided to do something about historical ignorance: revel in it. He created the coloring book Anti-History with twenty historically ridiculous pictures accompanied by fake tweets in the year the event supposedly occurred. But there’s a twist: fifteen of the pictures are reasonably accurate (Allen refers to them as “true” or “truish”). So “1941 Germans bomb Hollywood after seeing Ben Affleck movie Pearl Harbor” isn’t accurate, but “64 Rome catches fire when Nero drops his mixtape” is more accurate than most people realize.
“Many people today don’t have a firm grasp of reality,” Allen says, “and corporate and government propaganda machines take advantage of this.” Allen points to a recent study that concluded that the Kremlin’s current strategy is not to attempt to control the public narrative but rather to pollute the narrative so that “everything is equally believable or unbelievable, at which point the truth is no longer recognizable” – a strategy termed “the menace of unreality.” The solution, according to Anti-History, is to offer the risible to challenge readers to discern the truth. Anti-History’s introduction suggests that perhaps readers will "learn that not everything printed – or on the internet – is true. They’ll perhaps begin to distinguish between entertainment and truth. They’ll learn to investigate, assess, make determinations and approach everything with the tools to separate entertainment from reality.”
In addition to the ridiculous pictures, Anti-History also contains pop-culture references and a companion website that explains, at least in part, each picture’s relationship to history. The book can be used by teachers to help students explore the conflation of history, pop-culture, and entertainment. Or, as Allen writes in the introduction, “just break out your crayolas, color some silly pictures, invent your own history, and take a selfie at the end of the night.”
Anti-History also boasts of being the only book published this year with a review quote from God (“author of the New York Times bestselling Bible”), which reflects Allen’s view that “most review quotes are from people who never read the book, so a quote from God is as credible as most.”
The book is not available as an e-book, though Allen says “it would be so ridiculous to offer a coloring book as an e-book that it would align with the Anti-History ecosystem.”
Anti-History is the first book in the AntiFactual series, which Allen describes as “an extended bacchanal of ignorance, sort of like a presidential election.” Echoing Flannery O'Connor, Allen says that “when people are hard of hearing, you need to scream and maybe people will start to ask questions when they see a cat in a spaceship eating a cheeseburger and realize that the French did have a cats-in-space program.”