Lies My Teacher Told Me

Lies My Teacher Told Me

Everything your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Book - 1996
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Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist ScholarshipAmericans 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 thatnot onedoes 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.
Publisher: New York : Touchstone, 1996.
ISBN: 9780684818863
0684818868
Branch Call Number: 973 Loe
Characteristics: 383 p.

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n
ninigirl
Mar 29, 2017

A must read for anyone that is interested in history. Made me a little angry that I was never taught the truth. Great read.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

For anyone who has questioned the telling of history or done research of their own on the subject, many of Loewen bigger points will be redundant. It is the smaller details—the journals and articles from the people who actually lived through these events—that make this book so shocking. His liberal “white man is bad” tone will anger some. For others it will finally tell history from a unique perspective, one that is infinitely more colorful.

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Al6Hameed
Dec 19, 2015

I have known that the shadow government has been brain-washing the masses since they arrived here long ago. This book explains how they do it. Why do they do it? It is the only way that they can control and manipulate the unsuspecting. Education? Indoctrination is a more appropriate word. Education is when the truth is revealed. There may be some in denial after reading this book. Why? Perhaps reality and their perception may be in conflict. America will be a better place after reading this book.

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Fidelicatessen
Oct 12, 2015

This is one of the few books every American should read. If only high-school history taught us the depth of information and critical thinking that this book is full of, we'd have a more informed, enlightened electorate.

It's all real history, and it's presented by a college history professor in such a way that it's easy and fun to read.

k
kesha1123
Aug 19, 2013

Truly worthy read although it too is heavily loaded with biased language. I love that the author presents the good, bad, and ugly of our country's history all the while acknowledging the horrendous injustices or transgressions of our past, present, and future leaders and prominent lay people does not deter from our country's greatness. The truth is worth exploring so past mistakes are avoided. I truly wish we could stop celebrating Chris Columbus; he is such an unworthy hero.

m
Mr_Pear
Apr 29, 2013

I saw James Loewen speak at the University of Missouri about a month ago and I though he was a terrific speaker. His writing is very close to the way he lectures, that is, both funny and thought-provoking. I found this book to be equally engrossing. Loewen provides a clear and engaging view of the issues that plague social studies education in the United States and the consequences that manifest themselves as a result. His logic is sound as he is both scathingly critical and patiently empathetic with the students, teachers, administration, parents, and textbook sellers and authors that make up the system. As an ex-middle school social studies teacher myself, I can attest to the deplorable state that the U.S. education system is in. The social sciences suffer heavily within this system because of heroification, misinformation, and logical falicies that will only allow history class to be a bland, boring regurgitation of "facts." I would recommend this book to anybody with an investment or interest in social justice issues or education in the United States.

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danielestes
Dec 31, 2012

I read the first edition of this book around the time I graduated high school, and I was surprised, no shocked, by how much American history I didn't know. And that was just the stuff I thought I knew. Glossing over complex topics in a history textbook is one thing, but the real offense is when the facts presented are simply wrong. This happens far more often than you think.

The author is spot-on about high school history courses being unforgivably boring. Teaching history well means teaching controversy, and that means upsetting a lot of people—a nearly impossible task to sustain in a publicly-funded institution.

j
jilly0522
Nov 30, 2012

Every serious homeschooler needs to read this book. Every history buff needs to read this book. Everyone who hates history may learn to like history if they read this book. What an eye opener!

Starling16 Nov 03, 2011

Fascinating book; refer to it often to ponder how textbooks are manipulated.

Check out the chapter on who actually writes high school textbooks. You will be amazed, and not in a good way.

LYCrazy8 Oct 19, 2011

This book was an absolutely fantastic read. I was always a good student but consistently hated history... this book helped explain why. The writer states his case without coming across as polemic, and injects a good bit of humor into his writing. An absolute must for those who were let down by their middle and high school history teachers.

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Al6Hameed
Dec 19, 2015

Al6Hameed thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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