10 December 2013

Motivation For The Hunger Games - An Understanding Of History

(Which many academic and professional historians lack.) The Hunger Games has been quite successful, both as a trilogy novel and in its film adaptation. Very few who have watched the film version understand the motivation behind both the books and the film. An article on Lew Rockwell's site this morning brought out some interesting backstory regarding the series' author, Suzanne Collins:

Collins was a military brat who was fortunate enough to have a father that taught her the truth about historical events, not the propaganda taught in our public schools today.
“He was career Air Force, a military specialist, a historian, and a doctor of political science. When I was a kid, he was gone for a year in Vietnam. It was very important to him that we understood about certain aspects of life. So, it wasn’t enough to visit a battlefield, we needed to know why the battle occurred, how it played out, and the consequences. Fortunately, he had a gift for presenting history as a fascinating story. He also seemed to have a good sense of exactly how much a child could handle, which is quite a bit.”
You can read the rest of this thought-provoking piece, and more, here.


Ralph Steel said...

"So, it wasn’t enough to visit a battlefield, we needed to know why the battle occurred, how it played out, and the consequences."

So maybe that is why they want to include the issue of slavery at NPS Civil War sites?!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

The same thought crossed my mind when I read that quote Ralph. But there's a big difference to consider. This is a parent teaching HIS child what perspective HE wants them to focus on. The NPS is a tax-funded entity, so you get into all kinds of problems with moral and political issues. I don't have a problem with slavery being discussed in museums and related venues - of course it should be - as long as there is balance and both perspectives presented and its not uses as a morality play to trash Confederate soldiers - as we so often see on certain Civil War blogs.

ropelight said...

I seem to remember something recently about the Obama Administration's Core Curriculum initiative and its peculiar attempt to suppress contextual information in favor of focus almost exclusively on single issues in isolation. The Gettysburg address was the example.

Teachers were instructed to discourage classroom discussion of the WBTS, the Battle itself, or the reason Lincoln delivered the famed address and to focus their attention only on the words spoken.

It seemed about as wrongheaded an approach to public education as it's possible to get, yet nearly everything the Obama Administration does fits that mold.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Common Core, but I don't think this administration is involved, at least not directly. I believe this was a state by state initiative. Thankfully, the tide is turning against it. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" was almost as bad.