Myths of Modern History

From the French Revolution to the 20th century world wars and the Cold War - new perspectives on key events

by Jacques R. Pauwels

Revisionist historian Jacques R. Pauwels challenges readers to reconsider what they know about some key events in the last 250 years of world history.

At a time when it’s all too easy to see history in black-and-white terms, historian Jacques R. Pauwels urges readers to let go of conventional history textbooks and re-examine historical events outside the bounds of conventional ideologies and agendas.

Pauwels uses twelve key events, from the French Revolution onwards, to debunk well-known accepted historical narratives in the western canon. He challenges readers to rethink their views by compiling the recent work of specialized scholars whose research demonstrates that the facts contradict the myths that have been offered to explain these events.

Beginning with a reconsideration of the impacts of the French Revolution, Pauwels finishes by dismantling the American narrative surrounding the use of nuclear weapons in the Second World War and the real rationale for the Cold War and the U.S.’s postwar global democracy project.

About the Author

Jacques R. Pauwels

Jacques R. Pauwels has taught European history at a number of universities in Ontario, including York, Waterloo and Guelph. He is the author of The Great Class War 1914–1918, Big Business and Hitler and The Myth of the Good War, revisionist histories of the rise of fascism and the World Wars. His books are read around the world and have been published in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Russian, Turkish and Korean. An independent scholar, Pauwels holds PhDs in history (York) as well as political science (U of T). He lives in Brantford, Ontario.


Jacques Pauwels is hands down one of the most important historians writing today. His work combines profound erudition with pristine clarity. He has a unique ability to channel his expansive historical knowledge into pedagogical narratives that carefully walk the reader through extremely complex historical developments. The result is, quite simply, a series of the best books on modern and contemporary history that can—and should!—be read by both specialists and complete novices. Moreover, his commitment to the tradition of what Domenico Losurdo referred to as “counter-history” leads his readers through the looking glass, so to speak. Instead of the hackneyed stories peddled by the mainstream media and educational institutions, he delivers to his readers truly insightful, and sometimes surprising, accounts of what actually happened. His books are thus real page turners that are enthralling to read and amenable to a very large audience. I regularly teach his work and recommend it to students, professors and other interested parties. I have only heard praise of his work from those to whom I’ve recommended it

Professor Gabriel Rockhill, Villanova University


A lucid, hard-hitting, no holds barred extravaganza . . . and, in a better world, would be required reading for every high school senior.


Antony C. Black, Freelance Journalist and Political Essayist, Transcend Media Service

In a remarkable trilogy of ground-breaking, critical, well researched and readable books, historian Jacques Pauwels challenges the core self-declared virtues of Western civilisation – rooted in and disseminated across the world by its power elites and ruling classes – that it stands for civilisation, peace, freedom, and democracy.

Pauwels pierces through the smoke and mirrors of this widely accepted construction to reveal the darker forces that lie at the heart of modern Western elite history, mentalities, institutions and practices – a complex network of corporate, feudal, reactionary clerical, political, bureaucratic, militaristic, and mass media forces – that drive states to wage relentless class warfare as well as two World Wars, the subsequent killing fields of the Cold War, and devastating Wars of Terror after 9/11.

Anyone who wants to open their minds, be challenged and re-think the history of the past century and more could hardly do better than study Pauwels’s work. Many readers (and reviewers) will regret that they missed out on these works as they were published one by one over the past 20 years – and wonder why they have not heard of Jacques Pauwels before now. The mass media megaphone is somehow almost mute when it comes to studies that radically challenge the status quo.

Inderjet Parmar, The Wire

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