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Program Information
 People's History: human agency vs the great man
 Dr. William Pelz
 Dale Lehman/WZRD  
 For non-profit use only.
 Attribution Share Alike (by-sa) 
 No Advisories - program content screened and verified.
Dr. Pelz uses his study of German working class resistance to WWI to make the case that people have agency and can shape historical events, contrary to the "great man theory" of history.

Depending on who holds political power, museums may reverse an accepted narrative of an exhibit to appease politicians and powerful corporations. The ruling class prefers a version of events favorable to its interests in contrast to what occurred "bottom up" . As it is easier to find historical material on rich people, historians tend to offer a "great man" narriative.

Pelz has examples from his forth coming book "A Peoples History of the German Revolution" to illustrate that contrary to the blood thirsty images of crazed German killers produced
by the U.S Government propaganda campaign to shift anti-war
sentiment, many Germans were opposed to the war and resisted with both active and passive determination. "A bullet in the back is a good as a bullet in the front" was a saying used at the front to deal with certain officers. Peltz's research found that the German General Staff knew the war already lost late in 1914 at a time when Germany was thought to be winning. Soldiers were killing problematic officers at a time when it appeared Germany was winning.

He relates several examples of working class solidarity on both sides of the front line that undermined the war. Similarities to the Vietnam War are addressed in the Q&A.

The P "BS" Vietnam War extravaganza was challenged as
"history" by a member of the audience (see video). Professor
Pelz offered some comments on Ken Burns films and the confusion of entertainment as history.
Open University of the Left

Dr. William A. Pelz
Q&A parsed - speaker lightly edited.

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01:07:07 English 2017-09-16
 Chicago, Illinois
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Talk/Q&A  01:07:07  128Kbps mp3
(63MB) Mono
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