Point of view. (Letters).
I, for one, was quite disappointed in your choices for the two "Point of View" articles (Social Education March 2003). Mr. Saxe's valid points got lost in his jingoism. If nothing else, the wide variety of our military experiences with a wide variety of peoples and cultures should drive home the multicultural nature of American history, particularly American military history. We have never shied away from taking any other culture or people on, including ourselves. Those cultural conflicts, internal and external as well as cross-cultural alliances in wartime and, for the first time in the latter half of the 20th century, in peacetime, need to be studied and understood. No nation has "friends," just allies who stay allied only as long as it is in their nation's interest. As Stalin said, "Treaties are like pie crusts: They're made to be broken?
Sadly, Ms. Adler is no better. First, she prefaced her article with a recently debunked piece of Internet hoax, the ersatz "quote" for Gaius Julius Caesar. Anybody who has studied him would know that Caesar referred to himself in the third person, so the first person references should have made it suspect from the beginning. Second, her writing it as a response gave her an advantage that Mr. Saxe did not have, to reply to her comments. She did not have to create, merely rebut, certainly not good debate tactics. Her article should have been written independently, using her ideas and not simply attacking his.
Most regretfully, both authors' arguments degenerate into ad hominem tirades, one against the NCSS and one against the other author. If Social Education can't get a better quality of writing (in contrast to the excellent overall content of the magazine), it should seriously consider abandoning future "Point-Counterpoint" farces.
Tom W. Glaser
Social Studies Teacher
Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School