Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
In his well-documented biography of Ranger commander Earl Rudder — “Rudder: From Leader to Legend” — historian Thomas M. Hatfield excoriated Ryan for repeatedly sacrificing “facts for dramatic effect.”
Scaling sea cliffs under fire is incomparably dramatic. However, the German guns were not in the casemates. “Sacrifice for nothing” became Ryan’s ironic storyline.
It is historically inaccurate, to the point of falsehood.
In Hatfield’s view, Ryan was not a professional historian but a man grinding out a book to meet a publication deadline. Ryan admitted he relied on one Ranger veteran for his entire D-Day account, a sergeant who manned an observation point over a mile from the most critical combat on Pointe du Hoc. Professional military historians seek multiple sources, to include after-action group interviews.
Earl Rudder, who later became president of Texas A&M University, was a superb special operations commander, but a man not given to grandiose language.
Ryan’s interview of Rudder didn’t produce the sizzle Ryan sought. Ryan asked Rudder where and when he arrived in Normandy. Rudder: “Omaha Beach, H-Hour.” Ryan asked if Rudder had lost friends in the battle. Rudder: “Yes, many.” Was Rudder wounded? “Yes, twice.” Ryan appealed for a dramatic moment. Did any single incident stand out in Rudder’s mind? “No.”
One moment? The battle for and on and over Pointe du Hoc was two-and-a-half days of endless suffering, death, violence and chaotic hell, yet Rudder and his Rangers had succeeded in achieving their critical mission.
Hatfield noted that a man with solid Hollywood connections helped correct the record. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan held a ceremony at Pointe du Hoc. With Rudder’s widow and 2nd Ranger vets at his side, Reagan said: “Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion, to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. … These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the men who helped free a continent.”
I’m not in any position to criticize Mr. Ryan, but it’s always worrisome how quickly you can find disagreement among the presumably knowledgeable, during these times in which we live when all sorts of different disciplines of scholarly work drive so hard toward something called “overwhelming consensus.” I recall some since-deceased relatives who helped me back in school researching my own family history, and as their generation died off my thoughts turned to the questions I probably should have asked them about little details, that I no longer could. Questions that would remain unanswered forever.
It must be a blissful brand of ignorance that permits the amateur and the historian alike, to believe it is only the answers that endure, and the questions that are temporary. That’s not actually how it works.
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