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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3102/is-this-the-best-they-can-do/

Is this the best they can do?

February 5, 2005 by

Joe Lockard, a professor of American literature at Arizona State University, is the latest entrant in the hate-Tom-Woods parade. According to Lockard, I’m just dead wrong from page one. Here is my full response to his sweeping attack.


Roderick T. Long February 5, 2005 at 11:43 am

I recall seeing some earlier critique of Tom’s book — I forget by whom — that both expressed shock at the effrontery of Tom’s criticising the saintly FDR and dismissed Tom’s book as being just as bad as that recent book defending the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans.

Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Sam February 5, 2005 at 2:56 pm

Perhaps it was the first NYT review that did so (the one before Adam Cohen). I remember that it derided Dr. Woods’ book as a “neocon” guide to US History. It was quite obvious that the reviewer was unaware of the neocon Lincoln/Wilson/FDR-worship, and so ridiculous I burst out laughing.

Jonathan Dingel February 6, 2005 at 8:17 am

Dr. Woods,

Your reply to a critic would be more compelling if you provided a URL or citation so that we could read the criticism of your text for ourselves.

Asking if this is “the best they can do” is a bit presumptuous at this stage. You’ve refuted a lightweight NYT review and a few choice paragraphs from Lockard’s piece. That hardly constitutes an extensive academic debate.

RPM February 6, 2005 at 9:15 am


I haven’t read your book, but I agree the NYT review was stupid–especially how it would imply to the average reader that you were a big supporter of internment camps in WWII. (I’m assuming you weren’t.) The Lockard guy’s quotes were also pretty silly.

However, I wasn’t sure what you wanted him to do in this portion:

In a brief e-mail exchange with Lockard I explained to him just how he had mischaracterized my position. There can be no question that he has slandered me here, and he now knows, because I explained the matter to him, that he was wrong and I am right. Yet again showing that sense of fair play that the left is known for, however, he has not troubled himself to correct his mischaracterization – which has now gone from being (possibly) a simple misunderstanding to a deliberate lie. I’m supposed to be intimidated by someone who operates like this?

What was the venue for Lockard’s attack? If it had been, say, on his website, then yes, I’d expect him to correct the mistake. But if he wrote a review for a local paper or something, how should he have corrected his misinterpretation?

Tom Woods February 6, 2005 at 10:48 am

It was for a website for which he serves as an editor, so it would be a simple thing for him to correct his mistake.

And I don’t think it’s presumptuous, since so far I’ve been smeared from here to Mars by people who barely discuss the contents of my book at all. Then we finally get someone who purports to critique the book, and this is what he comes up with?

Here’s the url: http://bad.eserver.org/reviews/2005/lockardwoods.html

Vanmind February 6, 2005 at 3:38 pm

Tom, regarding the smears: either get used to them or try a new vocation.

jeffrey February 6, 2005 at 3:40 pm

another (and better) review.

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