Hidden History: Clash of the Two Americas

“The Clash of the Two Americas or the Unfinished Symphony” – A book review by Irene Eckert – the ...

The Clash of the Two Americas: The Unfinished Symphony

by Matthew Ehret and Cynthia Chung (2021)

Purchase link: https://canadianpatriot.org/untold-history-of-canada-books/

Book Review

Owing to my passion for hidden history, I found this book a fascinating read. In addition to being meticulously researched and footnoted, The Clash of the Two Americas is also extremely readable, thanks to Canadian historians Ehret and Chung’s gift for explaining complex ideas in ordinary language.

In Volume 1 of this three volume series, the authors introduce us to the British Foreign Office “fifth column” that has dominated American history, a taboo topic in US public schools and universities. Much of the first volume focuses on early efforts by patriot Benjamin Franklin to create a stable and independent American economy to ensure true political independence.

In Franklin’s view, government support for the development of productive industries (via infrastructure investment, protective tariffs, national banking and public credit) was essential for creating this economic environment, as were international agreements in which sovereign nations supported the industrial development of potential rivals, instead of trying using so-called “free trade” agreements to subjugate and exploit (ie colonize) them.[1]

On the domestic side, Franklin started the first fire department (1736) in the 13 colonies, the first public (1731) and the University of Pennsylvania (1740). To escape the power of the British banking system, he called for the colonies to issue their own paper currency, as well as issuing numerous pamphlets calling for the abolition of slavery Hoping that Quebec (which in 1774 encompassed all of modern day Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario and Nova Scotia) would become a 14th colony, he created Canada’s postal service in Halifax in 1753 (extended to Quebec and Montreal after the British defeated the French in 1763) and the first Canadian newspaper (Montreal Gazette) in 1776.

In 1775, he also chaired the four-man committee responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence and is primarily responsible for its content (not Thomas Jefferson as we are taught in school).

An extremely skilled diplomat, Franklin also spent extensive periods in Britain, France, Russia and Germany promoting programs of mutual technology sharing. Thanks largely to his influence, at the time of the American Revolution, there was a significant enlightened intelligentsia sharing his views in Russia, France, Germany, Prussia, Spain, India and Morocco (which is why most of these countries provided material aid to the rebels in their war against Britain).

When British East India Company economist Thomas Malthus published his 1798 book An Essay on the Principal of Population, the divide between intellectuals who supported Franklin’s enlightened economic views and those who favored continuing exploitation of colonies, slaves and the working class became even more polarized.[2]

Alexander Hamilton, one of Franklin’s protégés,[3] played an essential role after independence in creating America’s first national bank. With his murder in 1804 by Aaron Burr,[4] the British banking system and America’s Anglophiles deliberately undermined the US credit system, causing major speculative booms and busts. Ehret and Chung go on to remind us that every president who tried to escape British banking and Wall Street control of the US money system died in office (ie Harrison, Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Harding).

The other really interesting section of this book concerns the role of the British Foreign office in instigating the secession of the Southern Confederacy, in funding and arming them during the Civil War and in the assassination of President Lincoln. This, as other sections of the book, is carefully sourced and documented.


[1] Under free trade agreements, stronger nations force weaker countries to repeal the protective tariffs that protect their developing industries from cheap imports. Adam Smith strongly supports free trade in his 1776 book Wealth of Nations. So did the slave owning Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president.

[2] The European elite supported Malthus’s view (that population growth will always outstrip food production) as an excuse not to implement reforms addressing the needs of the poor. In contrast, Franklin’s protégés believed that ending private banks’ control of the money system and industrial development would enable countries to continue to feed growing populations.

[3] Some of Franklin’s other protégés who carried his political philosophy into the 19th century included John Jay (1745-1829), 1806), Isaac Roosevelt (1726-1794)
(great-great grandfather to Franklin Roosevelt), Henry Clay
(1777-1852), John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), Matthew Carey (1760-
1839) and Matthew Carey’s son Henry C. Carey.(1793-1879, a leading economic advisor to Abraham Lincoln.

[4] Burr was tried in 1807 for treason on behalf of the British Foreign office and was acquitted. Conclusive evidence of his activities only came out post-trial. Following his acquittal, British intelligence smuggled him into Nova Scotia, from where he sailed to London.

The Psychobabble Theory of Assassination

Age of Assassins: The Loners, Idealists and Fanatics Who Conspired to Change the World

Faber and Faber (2013)

Book Review

In essence this book is an encyclopedia of modern day assassinations. In addition to providing comprehensive details of more than a dozen political murders, Newton proposes a general theory of what motivates assassins. In my view, this aspect of the book is a total failure. Mainly because it largely omits compelling evidence of US intelligence/military complicity in the assassinations of Malcolm X, JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and John Lennon and the attempted assassinations of Reagan, Ford, George Wallace and John Paul II.

I also have a problem with Newton’s assertion that the era of assassinations began with the Lincoln assassination. Assassination via poisoning dates back to Roman times at least.

According to Newton, the Lincoln assassination inspired the Russian Nihilist movement and their numerous assassination attempts (which were ultimately successful) against czar Alexander II.

The Nihilists, in turn, inspired the Irish nationalists and the “propaganda of the deed” (see Why Social Studies Never Made Sense in School: The History of Anarchism ) tendency of the anarchist movement. The result would be a wave of attempted and completed assassinations across Europe and in the US.

The book contains a long section on the life of US anarchist Emma Goldman and the attempted assassination oshe plotted with her lover Alexander Berkman on Henry Clay Frick (hired by Carnegie to break the steel workers union) s. Although she would later renounce violence, her huge public following (according to Newton) would inspire Leon Czolgosz to assassinate president William McKinley.

The book devotes a long chapter to the rise of Serbian nationalism, the Black Hand and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the purported cause of World War I. It devotes numerous pages to the Armenian genocide by Ottoman rulers and several assassination attempts against Roosevelt and Truman.

I found the later chapters, beginning with the assassination of John Kennedy, a big disappointment. In my view, this section of the book is pure pop psychology and psychobabble.

Newton identifies three primary motives for assassination:

1) A desire to end the suffering engendered by capitalist greed.

2) The drive for violent retribution in reaction to other killings.

3) A desire to smash the state and other authoritarian structures.

This leaves out all the lone nut assassinations – in which misfits try to murder prominent political figures for no apparent reason at all. Except for the JFK assassination (Newton acknowledges Oswald had accomplices* ). Newton seems to be a strong supporter of the lone nut theory of assassination. He blames the rise of lone nut assassins on deep seated decay and alienation in US society, which he believes is aggravated by the motion picture industry.


*Based on an acoustical recording obtained from a Dallas police microphone, the 1978 House Committee on assassinations ascertain that Oswald had to have at least one accomplice. See  https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKassassinationsC.htm

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