... the brother and sister team of David and Margaret Talbot, save the gore for print. They are the mild-mannered creators of a new book series called “Pulp History,” rip-roaring nonfiction tales with enough purple prose, gory illustrations and va-va-va-voom women to lure in even reluctant teenage male readers.Here's a sample:
In “Shadow Knights: The Secret War Against Hitler,” one of two books in the series that Simon & Schuster released last month, a British spy named Harry Rée wrestles with a Gestapo agent: “He gouged at one of the man’s eyes, but it wouldn’t come out. He tried to bite off his nose, but it was too tough. Then Ree shoved his forefinger into the German’s mouth, between his teeth and cheeks, and pulled up hard. The man squealed in pain and sent Ree flying over his head.”
David Talbot created Salon dot come back in the '90's. Margaret Talbot writes for The New Yorker. They promise that their books are historically factual and do show the evils of colonialism, racism, the dishonesty of politics, the factual horrors that history so often is. Nevertheless, here's this:
Their 160-page book, “Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America,” follows the exploits of the most decorated Marine of his day, Smedley Darlington Butler — a name too good to be false. Mr. Talbot first came across this forgotten hero in another book’s footnote.OK.
The cover, drawn in bold colors, depicts Butler with a gun in one hand while in his other he holds up the Statue of Liberty — depicted as a bosomy redhead — who has fainted. Other illustrations reflect the same bawdy sensibility. In one, a voluptuous naked black Haitian woman dances in a voodoo ritual in front of a roaring bonfire and a beheaded dog. The style matches the pulp novels that were popular with American readers during the Marines’ long occupation of Haiti that began in 1915. The back cover promises, “Unbelievable and ALL TRUE!,” and “Devil Dog Will Knock You Out!
Now why is it that what I see here is cynical dorkdongs devoutly believing they are entitled to sell history the way everythig else is sold, by the exploitation of women's bodies and sexuality the bodies and sexuality of people of color, the suffering of untold numbers presented as a comic book in order to make the buckola for themselves and their upper-middle-class children -- while devoutly, smugly congratulating themselves as doing good in the world.
Why yes, their pretense that they are bringing history to kids, when, as the article makes clear, this is an enterprise that is geared to creating fictional television and movie franchises, is disgusting and an insult to the many people who work so hard to write history that is accessible to the non-specialist.
Full story here.