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 Post subject: Calling out a Dan Brucker a fraud.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 787
Location: MA
I'm sure many of you on this form have heard about FDR secret train platform and his special bullet proof train car with gun ports on the roof too haul his Pierce Arrow limo. Or the fact that if the Nazis use sand to knock out the "Top Secret" rotary converters under Grand Central terminal it would have shut down the entire Northeast because you know all the 600vdc is made at that one point and transferred thousands of miles (because dc voltage travles so well). I have traced all these stories to one man, Dan Brucker. I think we have the community should demand accountability for this man's action and misinforming the public. It is our job to teach railroad history in the teaching comes correcting misinformation. note the approval from the official Grand Central Terminal channeled.

 Post subject: Re: Calling out a Dan Brucker a fraud.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9109
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
"Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect." --Jonathan Swift, 1710
........ later corrupted to the better-known, oft-misattributed "A lie will get halfway around the world before the truth can put its boots on."

Rail historians have confronted this kind of thing before. Stephen Ambrose made many factual errors and repeated disproved canards such as the "Chinese hanging from baskets to carve a canyon" in his bestselling Nothing Like It In the World (as others also did before him in a slew of books in the 1965-69 era), while more authoritative and accurate accounts gather dust on some remote shelf.

The movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the PBS broadcast of the one-sided documentary Taken For a Ride have vastly furthered the popular misconception that only a vast conspiracy by the conglomerate known as National City Lines stood between trolleys still clanging all over urban America today and the buses we have instead, a misconception repeatedly exploited for political purposes to promote transit spending. A few academic papers and articles are out there, online and elsewhere, to address the exploitation and misconceptions of this conspiracy theory, but either fail to gather attention and/or get dismissed as the product of anti-transit activists (which is true, in a few cases).

I think the only comfort we can take is that the lyin' blowhard HAS to retire or die sometime, and with it the repeated postulation of his falsehoods and fame-seeking. In the meantime, it's possible a well-written/researched article debunking the myth, with photos and original source material and interviews with other historians, could garner publication in an appropriate NY City forum such as the New Yorker, New York Magazine, the NY Times Magazine, Time Out New York, or even some alt-left weekly rag. But it has to be about "revealing the truth," not personally attacking Brucker.

 Post subject: Re: Calling out a Dan Brucker a fraud.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2528
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

I applaud your determination, but let me tell you a long winded story to get to my point.

Back around 2000, there was a historian named Michael A. Bellesiles, who wrote a book titled Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. The thesis of the book was that early settlers did not own a lot of firearms, and the "gun culture" was the creation of marketing during the industrial revolution.

From the get go, the book was applauded by academia. It won several awards, including the Bancroft Award. The book was probalby lauded for political reasons, as history academia is very left-leaning. When people and the NRA questioned the thesis and veracity of the research, the author scoffed at them. When the questions were raised, groups like the American Historical Association rushed to his defense.

Eventually, he was discovered as a fraud. He misread or made up sources, and Emory terminated him. His book prizes were rescinded and the publisher destroyed all of the unsold copies of the book.

The whole episode exposed a lot of fault lines within the profession, especially because it showed that few people read his work critically, especially those who bestowed prestigious awards on him

Because he was so dishonest, you'd think he'd never get another job again. Wrong, he cropped up a few years later in another scandal over a piece he wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has a job, not a prestigious one, but one in academia, despite being caught red-handed lying.

What does any of this mean? It means that in today's society, we seem to not value competence and accuracy. You can be as wrong as you want, including telling untruths, and there are few consequences.

David M. Wilkins
<Insert Impressive-Sounding Job Title Here>
<Insert Impressive-Sounding Organization Here>

"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"

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