Monday, May 22, 2006

Credibility

I received a copy of the May 2006 issue of History Magazine on Friday because the publication is courting history book publishers such as Southfarm Press to get them to advertise. Whenever I receive a new history book or magazine, I go to the index or table of contents to see what they have to say about the Dutch in history, a subject I specialize in. If I find a mistake about the Dutch in the book or magazine, I take a very jaundiced look at the rest of the publication.

You would be surprised how many mistakes I find.

This issue of History Magazine features the history of the 1660s, so I took a look at what they had to say about the Dutch surrender of New Amsterdam to the English in 1664. Right away, History Magazine was in trouble: They reported:

"The British seize New Amsterdam from the Dutch, changing its name to New York in honor of the Duke of York, the future James II." According to the magazine, the year this happened was 1665!!! WRONG. Credibility out the window.

As a publisher of military history, this kind of a mistake is the makings of a nightmare. We check and recheck facts in our books here, praying we don't print something like this gaffe in History Magazine. I wish History Magazine (www.history-magazine.com) the best. It's colorful and well illustrated. The articles seem interesting, but how accurate are they? Southfarm Press won't be advertising.
--Walter Haan, www.war-books.com

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