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`Download Epub ⚣ Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong õ 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 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 misinformation, 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 and the Iraq War From the truth about Columbus 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 country I love works that give you the uncensored truth about history, but this particular book left me feeling as though the author had something to prove, rather than reveal. I originally picked this up several years ago because the blurb on the back cover appealed to me Lies My Teacher Told Me is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class Mr Loewen s premise is that history textbooks have been presented to portray a slanted, optimistic and patriotic dumbed down view of America, because this suits the needs of the conservative white people who sit on the textbook adoption boards By critiquing 12 highly used American History textbooks, the author su I originally picked this up several years ago because the blurb on the back cover appealed to me Lies My Teacher Told Me is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class Mr Loewen s premise is that history textbooks have been presented to portray a slanted, optimistic and patriotic dumbed down view of America, because this suits the needs of the conservative white people who sit on the textbook adoption boards By critiquing 12 highly used American History textbooks, the author successfully presents several topics which they currently address, and uncovers the alleged omissions and distortions.I completely agree with the author s basic belief that American students are getting short changed when we present only the PC version of our country s heritage, not to mention the fact that this watered down presentation only serves to bore them all to tears students consider history to be the most irrelevant and boring of all the 21 subjects commonly taught in school I, personally, was interested to learn that not one of the twelve textbooks described the geopolitical implications of Christopher Columbus s encounter with the Americans none mention that Columbus was the first to send slaves across the Atlantic When we present our youth the world through rose colored glasses, where no controversial subjects arise, it no doubt causes them to be ill prepared for the real world that exists beyond the classroom.Having said all that, however, I found Loewen was overplaying the politically correct hand himself, replacing the conservative, Euro centric rhetoric with his own overtly socialist and liberal leanings His strong opinions on historical events may cause some readers to overlook his message on education For this reader, it made for just the kind of boring recitation of skewed political propaganda the author claims to be rallying against If you are interested in the topic of education and how it is being inseminated to our children through textbook censorship and abridgement of the facts, then I would recommend Diane Ratvitch s The Language Police How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn for abalanced examination of this issue clicking on the title will link you to a reader s journal discussion of the book This was a great book The first two thirds gives example after example of the many lies, omissions, and half truths found in American high school history books, and the last third speculates why this has happened Here s one example Almost everyone knew the world was round before 1492 Columbus s main reason for traveling to the new world to find gold, and he was responsible for killing, torturing and enslaving natives by the millions Eight million in Haiti alone were reduced to 200 within 60 This was a great book The first two thirds gives example after example of the many lies, omissions, and half truths found in American high school history books, and the last third speculates why this has happened Here s one example Almost everyone knew the world was round before 1492 Columbus s main reason for traveling to the new world to find gold, and he was responsible for killing, torturing and enslaving natives by the millions Eight million in Haiti alone were reduced to 200 within 60 years now seen as history s first documented genocide Columbus practically invented genocide.The new world was not populated by sparsely scattered tribes, but by as many as 100 million Indians, which were systematically wiped out by one plague after another, most introduced purposely Columbus s role in setting up the system is never mentioned Indians were hunted for sport, murdered for dog food, and given to officers as sex slaves Tributes in gold or cotton were due every 3 months, and Indians who did not comply had their hands chopped off.The book goes on to discuss the invisibility of both racism and anti racism in history books, and example after example of how history books white wash our history, always making America look like the good guys, and never mentioning our mistakes.The author would like to see history taught showing both sides of each event, and involve students in discussions of the pros and cons, which might make itinteresting to study.Why is history taught this way The author speculates that, although we strive for the truth in all other subjects, we purposely lie in history books, beasue we are trying to use history to build patriotism and a love of America in our children, and the truth might get in the way of that goal We also want to shield our children from the harsh realities of the world, at least till they study history in college But most students never study history in college, and the facts go unlearned I found much in this book that I never knew Except for the controversy about teaching Evolution, history is the only subject whose content is dictated by parental groups and school boards.This is a book that will make you stop and think like few others will 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 mightaccurately be titled Subtle Biases Created by Questionable Omissions in A Few Textbooks But that, of course, is not quite as bombastic a title 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 mightaccurately be titled Subtle Biases Created by Questionable Omissions in A Few Textbooks But that, of course, is not quite 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 Conquistadors 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 book.Throughout 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 equality.And 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 unquestioning 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 government.BUT, that all being said, I m not quite 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 readinteresting 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