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Avatar for KaliO KaliO said:
Author James W. Loewen, a sociology professor at the University of Vermont, has dedicated much of his career to exposing the inaccuracies of history textbooks used in schools across the country. In Lies My Teacher Told Me, written in 1994 and updated in 2007, Loewen exposes those inadequacies for the world to see. The bottom line is that students are not being told or taught the truth. History is taught as mythology. The point of view is almost entirely Eurocentric. Primary sources are rarely consulted by the authors of history textbooks. There are more specific faults as well: More time in classrooms is devoted to the War of 1812 than to America’s longest war, Vietnam. Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of America included the extermination of the Arawak culture. History teachers rarely manage to teach any event after 1970. With titles like Land of Promise, The American Way, and The American Adventure, these texts imply that the history of the United States is one where America is right all the time and can solve all its problems. History texts don’t teach about indigenous peoples’ struggles against their colonizing powers. The alternative points of view of America’s enemies or victims are rarely heard. And yet, as the other books on this booklist prove, these voices should be heard. America is not a perfect nation; knowing that won’t keep students from loving their country. In fact, understanding how America has learned from the mistakes of the past can only inspire its citizens to keep trying to improve for the future. Lies My Teacher Told Me is the ideal read for anyone who ever fell asleep in history class and for every discerning, critical reader who knows there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
posted Dec 24, 2009 at 1:28PM
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