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I am grateful for my avid readers who, having read my post on “Books for little Patriots”, have pointed me in the direction of the book above. We shall never forget 9/11: The Kids Book of Freedom is a Wayne Bell publication for the Really Big Coloring Books Inc of St Louis, Missouri.  It is billed as a memorial tribute, and an informational piece to help educate children on events about 9/11.  Educate?  Well, he clearly hasn’t read round his subject much, but the phrase “a simplistic honest tool” is getting closer.  Certainly the simplistic bit anyway.

The idea is that this is a colouring book which will lead the young child through all the salient points of 9/11.  The child is invited to colour the towers, give George Bush a touch of blusher, and splatter gory red blood colour all over everwhere when you get to the picture of Osama Bin Laden being shot by the Navy Seals . “Oh mommy look at all the blood I colored in on this one!”

Unlike the previous book reviewed I find myself asking how this tome can in anyway be considered helpful.  The writing is nowhere near the quality of Hamilton’s. Americans are always “FREE” in great big capitals, implying by its crude binary approach that all other choices must be UNFREE.

And it has an agenda too.  If you follow the money you get to all sorts of odd places.  A portion of the proceeds go to “Bridges for Peace” a Jerusalem based Bible bashing Christian organisation building bridges not between the West and Muslims, but between Christians and Jews, through as they say practical deeds expressing God’s love and mercy.  For the state of Israel you understand.

I find the book creepy.  It revels in the slaughter, glories in the destruction, simply howls in its adulation of the killing of Bin Laden.  It is a sick read.  It is also a very stupid book.

It reminds me of those dreadful “War comics” of my youth in the sixties, the endless “Valient” comics showing the German people as uniformly dim and cretinous, “kraut-heads” and the Japanese as sadistic torturers of our brave plucky lads – yeomen all.  This endless repetition of the propaganda of the forties through the sixties such as the bubble gum card below was not simply demeaning of the publishers who should have known better, it held back the country from making any progress with new relationships with the world by shackling its mind to the propaganda of the past. It demeaned the reader and misinformed a generation.

 

The piece of crap above is what I was reminded of when I read The Kids Book of Freedom.  It is card number 36 “The Helpless Paratrooper” from the Battle! series of bubblegum cards issued by Topps in 1965.  This one was the subject of considerable controversy in the newspapers at the time and thus for us kids made doubly collectable.  A first introduction for many into violent pornography.

It was a distraction from what was important, and inculcated stereotypes of peoples that simply did not exist in reality.  Sure there were nasty Germans, and doubtless there still are, but the racist tone was not just morally wrong it was unhelpful in any practical sense. It held the country back, gave advantage to others.

Avoid this vile book with its pornography of violence and bubble gum card mentality, its sick and stupid.

Copyright David Macadam 2011

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