LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME BOOK REVIEW

Have you ever before wondered whether history publications were informing the truth? James W. Loewen"s Lies My Teacher Told Me sheds some brand-new light on American history – and exactly how high school textbooks are obtaining it wrong. Loewen speaks on misconceptions about slaexceptionally and the Underground Railroad on Thursday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library.

Professor Loewen, a race connections professional and also writer of five publications, opens up Lies my Teacher Told Me with an easy assertion: "High college students hate background." From the students" perspective, he says, history is both also complicated and also too straightforward. Loewen finds that high college textbooks market a dizzying array of information, through publications averaging 4.5 pounds and 888 peras. At the very same time, the stories presented in textpublications all function neat, clean facts imparted with bland patriotism. This technique, Loewen argues, reduces history to "a gray emotional landscape of pious duty" quite than a dramatic landscape of interrelated stories and occasions.

Using material from 18 height textpublications, Lies My Teacher Told Me highlights some of the the majority of glaring omissions from educational texts. These are occasions, for the many component, that define who we are as a country even more than what Loewen calls the "Disney variation of history" presented in classrooms. And the true stories are virtually always more exciting than their whitewashed counterparts.

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For instance, President Woodrow Wilson is remembered for his initiatives to unite the civilization in a League of Nations following U.S. enattempt right into World War I. Loewen suggests that Wilson was an "outspoken white supremacist" who "offered his power ... to segregate the federal federal government." The Vietnam War, too, is a dodgy worry for textbooks. By shining a light on facts such as just how the army dropped more bombs in Vietnam than in all theatres of World War II merged, Loewen shows exactly how authors disregard disputes that tarnish the U.S."s picture. In reality, Loewen cites monitorings that nearly 25 percent of students think the Vietnam War was battled between North and also South Korea, revealing a prouncovered disparity in educational criteria.

Readers learn how Christopher Columbus was the largest individual servant trader in background, how Helen Keller advocated socialism, and, to use an instance closer to home, exactly how Kansas abolotionist John Brown wasn"t constantly pertained to as a lunatic.

Brvery own is a situation study in exactly how school textbooks leave out necessary abolitionists and also shy away from idealism – but once idealists are had, they are illustrated as crazed fanatics. Many kind of high school background books label Brvery own as a madguy, despite proof from main resource documents that, according to Loewen, proves Brown"s contemporaries pertained to him as a written, perceptive guy.


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Two various images of John Brown

The illustration to the ideal mirrors radically various images of Brown. The left is a daguerreotype taken in 1850; the right is a detail from John Steuart Curry"s well known mural, Tragic Prelude, portraying Brown"s rassist on Harper"s Ferry.

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Loewen contends that among the foremost problems with existing history textbooks is the glaring omission of racism. Slaincredibly, in specific, was the driving pressure behind defining events favor the Louisiana Purchase and the Civil War. Loewen points out that "as lengthy as history textbooks make white racism invisible, neither they nor their students who use them will certainly be able to analyze race relationships intelligently."

Additionally, Loewen"s claim, "Feel-good background for affluent white males inevitably amounts to feel-bad history for everyone else," appears to be true: minorities repeatedly lag behind white students in background classes.

For one more instance, here"s Loewen dissecting the historic record behind a Confederate monument:


Lies My Teacher Told Me is not without conflict, however; inspect out the reviews on Amazon or GoodReads to view readers increasing inquiries about its objectivity. Lies has actually obtained instrumental acinsurance claim as the winner of the 1996 American Book Award and also the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguiburned Anti-Racist Scholarship. Due to the fact that its publication in 1995, it has actually marketed over one million copies.

Want to see more lies exposed? Can you take care of the fact about history? Come discover out as soon as James Loewen reveals lies about slavery and the Underground Railroad in an original presentation at the Central Library on Thursday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the presentation. RSVP digital or call 816-701-3407. Free parking is obtainable at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltieven more.