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text ð Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong × James W. Loewen

Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got WrongAmericans have lost touch with their history and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism mindless optimism sheer m Ostensibly Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen is a book about factual inaccuracies found in a survey of twelve popular History textbooks That's a good hook but unfortunately once the hook gets you the place it pulls you into is slightly different than what you might expect This book might accurately be titled Subtle Biases Created by uestionable Omissions in A Few Textbooks But that of course is not uite as bombastic a title and you probably wouldn't read the book would you?After a brief false start involving how Hellen Keller was a raging Communist Loewen starts his review of American history in precolonial days beginning with the atrocities of the Conuistadors and other European explorers Then it moves on to the atrocities of the White European settlers Then the atrocities of the early American White colonists Then the atrocities of the antebellum slave owners Then the atrocities of the postbellum racists Then the atrocities of the opponents of the civil rights movement You see the pattern here? It holds up for most of the bookThroughout it all Loewen does a pretty good job of showing how textbooks often omit information and whitewash pun intended the characters of prominent Europeans and Americans such as Christopher Columbus and Abraham Lincoln And it is pretty interesting to read how for example textbooks describe how the Nina the Pinta and the Santa Maria were storm battered and floundered into the shores of the new world full of crews on the brink of mutiny while Columbus's own personal journal pretty much says that hey the weather has been awesome this whole trip and everyone is still in a great mood Or how Lincoln made several campaign speeches in which he turned his nose at the idea of racial eualityAnd Loewen makes good points about how these omissions seem to be systematic done towards the end of downplaying the unpleasant like say the genocide of Native Americans through disease and murder and emphasizing the heroic like say taming a wilderness that in truth wasn't that wild because the Indians had already cultivated it but are dead now At times his comments are impressively subtle like when he notes how textbooks often credit President Kennedy and other governmental institutions for coming up with anti discrimination legislation during the 60s when the government was for the most part bowing to pressure from civil rights activists who really deserve all the credit This kind of misinformation he argues teaches that Blacks and their White allies were not the ones who enacted these changes can thus not expect to view them as inspirations for future battles It's a subtle point but Loewen makes good arguments that stuff like this is all in the name of making us feel good about our country and unuestioning about our pride in our history And he's good about describing how this is doing a disservice to people both as students of history and as eventual participants in our system of governmentBUT that all being said I'm not uite sure I've ever read anything so awash in liberal White guilt as this book It's not that I necessarily disagree with any of this but the tone of the work is often offsetting and sometimes approaches zealotry I was really hoping to read interesting tidbits about stuff that history books get wrong the kind of stuff that might serve well as idle chit chat at my next dinner party or bar crawl But it doesn't take long for it to become apparent that that's not what this books is about It's really just a vehicle for Loewen's politics Not that there's anything wrong with that and not that I found myself disagreeing with his politics too often well sometimes It's just not the book I expected or even really wanted

James W. Loewen × Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong eBook

Mbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders Loewen revives our history restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possessesThought provoking nonpartisan and often shocking Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers history buffs and enlightened citizens across the count The problem with this one is that it has so much content so much information per page that it is hard to know where to start I found this book nearly life altering particularly since I’m a week away from studying to become a history teacher If you are in the US this is a very important book for you to read as you are sure to be shocked by some of the myths about your history that are discussed here For the rest of us in the non USA this book is just as important because it serves as a guide to understand why Americans are so remarkably ignorant or ill informed about their history Along the way this book has interesting things to say about such subjects as why education does not make people compassionate or likely to think for themselves and why textbooks present such a distorted picture of US history in the first place This is in short a deeply powerful book about how we ought to educate our children and why the fact that schools do such a bad job at teaching history is part of the reason why they do such a poor job at providing the kind of education needed by students to help them live their lives in a democracyThis book bases its arguments around what is printed in and omitted from twelve popular textbooks on US history The lies this book is concerned with are the distortions and untruths that are a commonplace in high school American History textbooks As he points out early in this book the first year of most college history courses in the US are about seeking to remove all of the misinformation students have been taught in high school One of the author’s colleagues refers to first year American History as ‘Iconoclasm I and II’And the distortions he documents here are nearly enough to turn your hair colour Take that ever nice deaf and blind girl Helen Keller who made good and thereby proved by the sheer force of example of her life that anyone can make it in America – the land of opportunity home of the free land of the brave What is never mentioned Loewen points out is that this message and this is the story presented of Keller’s in virtually all of the text books is the exact opposite of the meaning Keller sought to illustrate by her own life’s work Keller for most of her life was a Socialist and avid supporter of the Soviet Union She actively sought to improve the lot of other people who were either deaf or blind while pointing out that these people were generally made so by industrial accidents She said that most of these people had no hope of achieving in any way similar to how she had If anything it was her moral outrage at the social ineuities in capitalist society that she wanted to be remembered for and the work she did to remove these ineuities work so that we too should be outraged and do something about these outrages – but instead our textbooks turn a blind eye and stop up our ears to her life’s work and message while painting a halo around both her and her teacher A halo so bright that it hides the truth with its glareHis discussion of Woodrow Wilson is possibly even disturbing Wilson’s support of the Ku Klux Klan for example is never mentioned in any of the books and his segregation of the US government is likewise ignored by all of the textbooks Of course lies of omission are no less lies Did you know that when Wilson was president of Princeton it was the only northern university not to admit black students? Or that Wilson only once met African American leaders in the White House but virtually through them out?Wilson did much to bring about the modern world and many of his achievements following the First World War in particular are a great tribute to him but as is pointed out here American high school textbooks seem incapable of presenting a ‘worts and all’ picture of US ‘heroes’ Take as an example Wilson’s high praise of the film The Birth of a Nation – a jaunty little film whose themes will become clear once you are told it was originally called The Clansmen and was about the great lie in American history that Reconstruction following the Civil War was a time when African Americans dominated life in the south Wilson said “It is like writing history in lightning and my only regret is that it is all true”Racism is a key theme in American history and an important way to understand much about modern America And yet it is a theme that is mostly ignored in all of the textbooks The part played by plague in depopulating America so that white and black settlers could take over Native American land is not discussed at all in any of the text books – despite the impossibility of American being so settled without biological warfare Columbus’s extermination of the Native Americans of Haiti is not mentioned in any of the text books and this fact fits well with the theme that heroes can do no wrong and if they did do wrong then such wrongs are either excused or ignored As he points out “In the early 1920s the American Legion said that authors of textbooks ‘are at fault in placing before immature pupils the blunders foibles and frailties of prominent heroes and patriots of our Nation’” I have known so little about US involvement in Haiti but all I am finding out is deeply shameful and therefore reason enough to keep it hidden I need to uote this bit “Then the United States supervised a pseudo referendum to approve a new Haitian constitution less democratic than the constitution it replaced; the referendum passed by a hilarious 98225 to 768” Of course hilarious is used here in the sense that we laugh and cry about the same things However Columbus’s extermination of the estimated 8 million natives of Haiti often by working them to death makes most of the horrors that followed on that tortured island pale in comparisonDid you know that King James yes of the Bible fame gave thanks to the Almighty God for providing the plague that helped depopulate the Americas of its original inhabitants? He was not the first or the last to do this but you might not think that from any of the history books studied in American high schools as the entire topic remains taboo And just what was the Civil War fought for? Surely not something as crass as slavery His discussion of the treatment given to the end of slavery in textbooks particularly from the 1920s a time at the full dep

ePub Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Read eBook ✓ Lies My Teacher Told Me Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Ü Paperback ✓ Americans have lost touch with their history and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why After surveying eighteen leading high school AmericaIsinformation and outright lies these books omit almost all the ambiguity passion conflict and drama from our pastIn this revised edition packed with updated material Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye opening chapter on the lies surrounding 911 and the Ira War From the truth about Colu James Loewen reviews the history books commonly used in the US public school system and the factual inaccuracies contained in those books The book goes over many of the common practices in publishing history textbooks especially those concerning sanitizing our history for children and what is appropriate for them to know about our country Before reading this I had never actually thought about my own experiences in school with history but I feel like a lot of what he discusses was really valid and I agreed with much of what he said I do tend towards being much liberal though but I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging our mistakes as a country and I think the fact that we dont educate people properly about our history and government plays a pretty big role in the many problems that crop up People deserve to be told the truth and to decide for themselves and I don't think it necessarily makes a person not patriotic to criticize it's country's behavior Many people are blamed for their poor voting choices but that isn't helped by the lack of information most people have about our actual history I really enjoyed this one and it made me think about a lot of things I hadn't before my enjoyment of this may stem from the fact that I'm still relatively young and haven't read as many books like this one though I would totally recommend it though to people interested in history or those dissatisfied with the static sanitized history they learned in school