[This review, by historian Otto Scott, appeared in the September 1, 1995, issue of Otto Scott’s Compass., pp. 6-7.  The book being reviewed was later republished by the Council for Social and Economic Studies as The Dispossession of the American Indian—and Other Key Issues in American History.] 

 

Dwight D. Murphey’s:  Issues in American History: A Conservative Scholar’s Perspective

 

Reviewed by Otto Scott 

 

            Dr. Murphey, Professor of Law at Wichita State University and author of an outstanding four-volume history of the theory of socialism,[1] is another of this nation’s conservative scholars whose work is shamefully ignored by the multicultural forces that now dominate our literature, culture, and history.  In this succinct volume, Dr. Murphey reprints a half dozen memorable articles on subjects that range from the dispossession of the American Indians to the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II, the Kent State incident during 1970 that was used with such terrible results to American forces in Vietnam and the outcome of that struggle, the Hollywood Blacklist, the Oppenheimer case, and the history of Lynching.  Most of these articles were first published in the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies; one appeared in Conservative Review.

            It would be impossible to pick a page in this collection that does not contain material that would be fresh to the average American.  So fresh, indeed, that it shocks one into the realization that the bulk of our reportage today is not only false, but malignant.  The first essay, for instance, cites Lawrence Auster, author of “a courageous and vitally important monograph: The Path to National Suicide: An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism (1990).”  Auster sums the attacks within our schools and academic community to advance a program of “cultural diversity.”  He says, “multiculturalism should be understood as an attempt, undertaken in our own schools, to tear down, discredit and destroy the shared story that has made us a people and impose on us a different story which tells us that our civilization and past history are essentially evil.”

            Proofs of this are threaded through all of Murphey’s articles.  His discussion of the centuries-long war between Indians and white settlers in Northern America makes it clear that there were heroes and villians on both sides, and that the issues finally resolved resulted in a proud history for both.  One cannot, of course, reverse a war.  But those who would are advised to tell their ethnic and spiritual cousins in other lands to drop their arms wherever they bear them: in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, in Ireland, in Africa, in Jugoslavija and elsewhere—before they dare to criticize the proud history of the United States.

            An essay on the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II is especially appropriate in view of last month’s outpouring of press sympathy for Japan over the first nuclear bombs.  (It is forgotten that our German-refugee scientists worked feverishly to perfect these instruments to use against Germany in the heart of Europe and only developed qualms later, when that hated target was prostrate.)

            Americans today remain unaware that Canada actually interned its Japanese citizens (which the U.S. did not) and did not allow them to return to their western provinces until 1949.  But the U.S. sent hundreds of young Japanese-Americans to our universities—during the war.  Japanese-Americans who fought in Italy and France raised funds after the war, to the memory of President Roosevelt.

            Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Dr. Murphey tells us, the U.S. arrested approximately 3,000 Japanese aliens classified as dangerous.  This group was included among those who received an apology and $20,000 each in the early 1990s for “mental suffering.”  Relocation was, at first, voluntary but not all could do so quickly.  Ten centers were located in various western states in stages, with as many amenities as practical (libraries, movie theaters, playgrounds, sports, etc.).  Their highest population was 106,770 persons in November, 1942.  The quarters were similar to those for soldiers overseas: stark but practical.  No families were ever separated; children attended accredited schools through the high school level.

            Because the centers were places where Japanese-Americans could stay pending their relocation around the country, 250 students left for college in the fall semester of 1942, attending 143 different schools.  By war’s end, 4,300 college-age students were attending more than 30 [sic; 300] universities.  Scholarships were granted; foundations and churches funded a group to help these students.  There was no policy of confinement for the duration.

            Hundreds went back to their peacetime railroad jobs.  In 1943 16,000 left on indefinite leave.  Others left on seasonal leave, to work in the sugar beet fields.  Churches maintained hostels for some; government agencies helped locate jobs for others.  In early 1944 “certificates of exemption” were issued after investigation, for some who returned to the West Coast.  In November 1944 all exclusion was ended, and the process of disassembling the centers started.  Meanwhile, exhaustive hearings have been intermittently held over the entire episode, and revisionist efforts—much of it by persons not then born—have managed to twist the matter into something terrible, by persons who are calm about real atrocities.

            Among these we must count the truly atrocious treatment of Americans by the Japanese—including medical experiments of astonishing barbarity, and treatment of prisoners of war on an animal level.  Descriptions of these appear more often in British papers than in ours: indignation on behalf of traditional Americans is not politically correct in this land.

            Dr. Murphey does not discuss these matters, for comparisons of the behavior of others has little place in a scholarly recital of a particular event.  But he examines the events from a variety of viewpoints: from the losses of property and the disruption of lives, why it was done, the loyalty of the Japanese-Americans (not spotless), the aftermath in terms of charges and, of course, the fulsome apologies and “damages.”  He does not, admirably, mention the hundreds of thousands of American dead in action in that war, the 700,000 wounded, the enormous sums expended, the greatest rise in taxes in our history, the expansion of the income tax down to 19 percent on salaries of $2,000, the relocations and property losses of non Japanese-Americans, for that would be loading the dice.  We have had enough of that.

            What we need is more of Dr. Murphey.  His description of the Hollywood Blacklist, which has been used to not only create a liberal legend about persons who were probably the highest-paid “martyrs” in history, is worth a lot.  It should be a university course on the art of propaganda—to say nothing of psychiatric monographs on personality disorders.  “Why does it matter today?” asks Murphey.  “Because,” he says, “it has become a part of the folklore of the left, which promotes its own demonology.  From such allegations… we are encouraged to form a cynical, demoralized memory of America’s past.”

            It’s no surprise that Murphey’s incisive and truthful series of exposures of what he terms “the alienation of the intellectuals… an American phenomenon since the 1820s” has been ignored by our present America-hating media moguls.  Dr. Murphey’s purpose in this series is explained in his very succinct Introduction.  “I approached each of these issues,” he writes, “with a simple question: ‘What would a scholar, seeking to be thorough and objective, and yet at the same time not bringing to the subject a deep animus against the United States, think about what happened?’”

            Space does not permit discussions of the other Murphey subjects: the lifting of the security clearance of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and—most remarkably—Lynching: History and Analysis.  But each brings a refreshing store of deeply-buried facts that cast new light on old events that have been astutely distorted to damage this nation.

            Since it is the purpose of COMPASS to bring precisely such observations to readers who would otherwise remain unaware of their existence, it’s a distinct pleasure to recommend these distillations of Dr. Dwight Murphey’s research and reflections to your attention.


[1]  Correction note by this web site: The first sentence of this review isn’t fully accurate on a couple of counts.  Dwight Murphey was a professor of business law; and his four-volume series included a book on the theory of socialism, but primarily dealt with three major reasons the modern age is in the quandary it’s in, one of these being the rise of the contending modern ideologies.