Stalin? Whodat???

I think the study of ancient history extends to the advent of the first Clinton administration in 1993 or so. As we all know, and as former Latin students might say, ancient history has fallen into desuetude. I think this may explain the finding reported in Jamie Gregora’s Daily Signal story “This is the percentage of millennials who believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.”

I’m sure millennials “know” who George W. Bush is. He’s the guy who caused the financial catastrophe from which President Obama saved us! But Stalin, WHODAT???

Analyze this:

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation released its first “Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Towards Socialism” Monday. The survey showed a distinct generation gap regarding beliefs about socialism and communism between older and younger Americans.

For example, 80 percent of baby boomers and 91 percent of elderly Americans believe that communism was and still is a problem in the world today, while just 55 percent of millennials say the same….

The survey also revealed a general lack of historical knowledge, especially among young adults. According to the report, one-third (32 percent) of millennials believed that more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.

Here we come to the WHODAT??? portion of the survey findings:

When millennial respondents were asked about their familiarity with various historical communist figures, 42 percent were unfamiliar with Mao Zedong, 40 percent with Che Guevara, and 33 percent with Vladimir Lenin—three notorious figures in communist regimes. Among millennials familiar with Lenin, 25 percent viewed him favorably.

The survey findings are summarized here. Only 18 percent of millennials admitted to unfamiliarity with Stalin, but what they “know” about him (as well as President Bush) is obviously deficient.

NOTE: When John Updike’s literary alter ego Henry Bech wins the Nobel Prize for Literature in the short story “Bech and the Bounty of Sweden,” Updike posits the headline reporting the news in the New York Daily News: “BECH? WHODAT???” I’m borrowing from Updike here. For reading on the victims of Communism, The Black Book of Communism is authoritative.

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