The Facts In Gus Myers Books Are Not Denied

When one encounters an uncomfortable truth, information that eviscerates the myths propagated by those who write history, that person will usually try, by every trick of the mind, to explain away that inconvenient fact.  However, when the information can not be beaten down by mere sophistries, the next best refuge has always been just to simply ignore the information, until it fades away from the mind.  Such is the case with the work of Gustavus Myers, a muckraking journalist, historian, and author, whose body of work around the turn of the twentieth century has been dropped down the memory hole.

In a review published in the New York Times on July, 5th, 1914, of Gus Myers’ book, The History of Canadian Wealth, we are given some clues as to why almost his entire body of work has been forgotten.  That reviewer, after opining on the book in question, decides to make a rather illuminating comment on the whole of Gustavus Myers’ work, and it is from these few sentences that we get a glimpse of how, after being unable to explain away the uncomfortable truths he presented, that last bastion of respite for worshipers of the status quo was turned to, ignorance:

“Mr. Myers’s books are recommended only to the admirers of the muckraking school, because only they believe that the masses are poor, because of unwillingness to imitate the vices attributed to the rich.  That doctrine is the root of much envy, hatred, and uncharitableness, and is noxious rather than meritorious in its effects.  This is said without disparagement of the apparent effort of Mr. Myers to be accurate.  His facts are not denied, but his inferences from them will not be admitted generally.  All he says may be true, and yet there are other offsetting facts which compensate for the blemishes disclosed.”

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