Read the Bills Act Coalition

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Bias in nonfiction, say it isn't so! (YES, that is sarcasm)

I don't mind in the least to read a biased book but I want to know of its bias before I start page 1. Burt Prelutsky at Pajama Media writes a great article about his worries that he might miss the subtle biases of nonfiction books:

Often, people are surprised to learn that I much prefer reading fiction to nonfiction. The main reason is that those who write fiction tend to be people who write for a living, whereas the folks who crank out history books and biographies are very often those whose first love is research...The other reason is that in a novel, the author is free to divulge everything the characters know, think, feel, and do. When it comes to nonfiction, we are often dealing with what the writer imagines took place, and we may not be aware of his bias. There is a reason, after all, why there are so many different accounts of historical events...A German historian is probably going to have a different take on the Third Reich than an Englishman will. A devout Christian will not write the same book about Jesus that an atheist will. Someone once observed that history is written by those who win the wars. That’s not entirely true. But those on the winning side certainly write from a very different perspective from those whose countries were vanquished...I just finished reading Jeffrey Toobin’s The Nine, a book subtitled “Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.” I have no way of knowing if what he wrote about the various justices is true. A lot of it sounds like gossip, which I don’t mind. After all, I didn’t read it because I’m prepping to argue a case before the Court, but because I was curious to know more about these people who, in many ways, have a greater influence on our lives than the president or the hundred members of the Senate.

Read Here:

No comments: