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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship

Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve 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 past. In ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:

  • The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth

  • Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations
  • The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts

From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

Synopsis:

This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award-winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of Americaand#8217;s history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Americans have lost touch with their history, and in andlt;iandgt;Lies My Teacher Told Meandlt;/iandgt; 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 past.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In 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 9/11 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 possesses. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Thought 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.

About the Author

James W. Loewen

James W. Loewen is professor of sociology at the University of Vermont. He is coauthor of the first integrated state-history textbook,

Mississippi: Conflict and Change, and creator of The Truth About Columbus: A Subversively True Poster Book for a Dubiously

Celebratory Occasion.

Table of Contents

andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Bandgt;Contentsandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Acknowledgmentsandlt;/Iandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Introduction: Something Has Gone Very Wrongandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;1 Handicapped by History: The Process of Hero-makingandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;2 1493: The True Importance of Christopher Columbusandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;5 The Truth about the First Thanksgivingandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;4 Red Eyesandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;5 "Gone with the Wind": The Invisibility of Racism in American History Textbooksandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;6 John Brown and Abraham Lincoln: The Invisibility of Antiracism in American History Textbooksandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;7 The Land of Opportunityandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;8 Watching Big Brother: What Textbooks Teach about the Federal Governmentandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;9 Down the Memory Hole: The Disappearance of the Recent Pastandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;10 Progress Is Our Most Important Productandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;11 Why Is History Taught Like This?andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;12 What Is the Result of Teaching History Like This?andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Afterword: The Future Lies Ahead — and What to Do about Themandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;Iandgt;Notesandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Appendixandlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Indexandlt;/Iandgt;

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

taxidriver667, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by taxidriver667)
This book ought to be required reading for teachers and anyone who is interested in learning about U.S. History. It's a compelling read and helps shed some light about why many people don't know and don't care about U.S. History. The chapters about Columbus and the Vietnam War are especially interesting and are guaranteed to get you thinking.
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Tobey, November 22, 2007 (view all comments by Tobey)
I have always been rather curious about history, even if I could barely stay awake in history class in high school. My curiosity generally led me to the library, where I could supplement my notes. So it was with some surprise that I came across Professor Loewen's book several years ago.

As I eat my grilled cheese sandwich -- professional bakers rarely get much of a break at this time of year -- this Thanksgiving, I am reminded of that book, and, in particular, the section on the First Thanksgiving.

It's a very entertaining read, and may just change your perspective on some historic events that you think you know.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743296281
Author:
Loewen, James W
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Author:
Loewen, James W.
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Study & Teaching
Subject:
Educational Reform
Subject:
Historiography
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States History.
Subject:
United States Historiography.
Subject:
World history -- Historiography.
Subject:
Lowen; Loewan; Jim Loewen; Howard Zinn; A People s History of the United States; Incorrect textbooks; American History; Myths of American History; course adoption; Sundown Towns; Lies Across America; Teaching What Really Happened;
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Revised
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
26 b/w photos
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Used Trade Paper
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Product details 464 pages Touchstone Books - English 9780743296281 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award-winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of Americaand#8217;s history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Americans have lost touch with their history, and in andlt;iandgt;Lies My Teacher Told Meandlt;/iandgt; 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 past.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In 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 9/11 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 possesses. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Thought 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.
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