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Invented Knowledge


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About the Author

Ronald H. Fritze is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Athens State University, Alabama.


'Lincoln rewritten: "Fellow citizens, we cannot escape pseudohistory." In heroic resistance, Fritze dives into the Augean stables of popular pseudoscholarship on pseudotopics such as Atlantis, aliens who built the pyramids, ancient catastrophes caused by near-misses with Venus, or the Israelite origin of Britons ... in his tireless analysis of the bloodlines of some of modernity's most successful claptrap - from Immanuel Velikovsky to Erich von Daniken to Heaven's Gate - Fritze does vindicate his claim that "Pseudohistory has its historiography and its genealogy of ideas". Nonsense now has its Nietzsche.' The Guardian 'In this new age of intellectual chaos, it looks like being a splendid self-regarding spring for hype-resistant readers. They can relish the prospect of hooting from the sofa as lean and hungry sceptics hunt down the peddlers of pseudo-history or pseudo-science and sink rhetorical incisors into the flabby flesh of their prey ... Invented Knowledge goes in for a more forensic dissection of modern myths about the past. Fritze ... selects a few choice myths and fads from the fringes of scholarship. He inspects enduring canards, from the Atlantis tales that took hold after the American Civil War, through the centuries-long quest for the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, up to today's taste for Chinese eunuch admirals whose fleet toured the entire globe in 1421, or the black-African ancient Egyptians whose profound wisdom gave Greece all its glory.' The Independent 'In Invented Knowledge, Ronald Fritze makes a level-headed and well-researched investigation into pseudo-knowledge, revealing the tricks used by purveyors of false and sensational ideas. He also shows how attempts to debunk the myths can add fuel to the fire.' New Scientist 'Known knowns, unknown knowns and nonsense: what better time than the post-Bush era to shine a light on the murky world of the unabashedly made-up? Ronald H. Fritze brings a seriously large torch on his journey through spurious narrative, conspiracy theories and bestselling twaddle in a veritable encyclopaedia of folly, Invented Knowledge. Read it and giggle. Or weep.' Times Higher Education '[Fritze] is a careful scholar with a gift for summarizing theories, however crackpot. He takes a historian's delight in uncovering connections between the various pseudo-histories he describes.' Times Literary Supplement 'In this enlightened diatribe, author and historian Fritze takes a hard look at pseudohistory, myths passed off as historical fact by those who "confuse the distinction between possibility and probability," either through ignorance or design (usually the latter) ... Fritz incorporates a wealth of background information and insider baseball while buttressing his own provocative contentions, making this a hearty treat for history buffs.' Publishers Weekly 'analyzes "pseudohistories,," including the fables of Atlantis, the Kennewick skull and related stories about populating the Americas, the Christian identity movement, the separatist cosmogony of the Nation of Islam, Velikovskian (and other) theories that aliens have populated the Earth, and the Bernal Afrocentric model of transmission of classical learning to the West ... meticulously researched. Recommended.' Choice 'This is a fascinating book, full of jaw-dropping details about the extravagant claims and outrageous behaviour of pseudo-historians, scientists and religionists.' Metascience 'an entertaining look at how purveyors of pseudo-knowledge of all sorts convince logical people that black is white and vice versa.' The Australian

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