Length: 4 Pages 1042 Words

Lies My Teacher Told Me: A Review James W. Loewen is an educator who went to college at Carleton University and furthered his education receiving his PhD in sociology at Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Tougaloo University in Mississippi, but would move on to the University of Vermont to teach sociology for twenty years. He has written numerous books studying the way Americans remember their past. Prior to writing Lies My Teacher Told Me, he prepared for the book by studying twelve principal U.S. History textbooks at the Smithsonian Institution for two years. He found the textbooks to be extremely plain, highly nationalistic and misleading. Loewen feels more voices and opinions need to be heard in our history textbooks. He feels besides the author’s take on a historical event/period other’s should be heard. The teacher should give their interpretation, original documents involving the period /event should be consulted, other experts’ opinions should be included and other voices be heard via the internet. Loewen believes, as he says at the end of the book, that “fewer topics” need to be taught and “examined more thoroughly” in elementary and high school. He feels the Civil War, the Continue...

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It seems Americans never do any wrong, bad things just happen according to our history textbooks. Loewen's book was extremely stimulating and made me reflect on my early education which perpetuated some of the myths he discussed. And they should know of the genocide enacted by our federal government on the Native Americans which involved giving their tribes small pox infected blanket as "gifts. Students come out of high school knowing little accurate information and plenty of half-truths and lies. He declares that American students know less about their own history than any other subject upon entering college and what they do know needs to be unlearned as their historical information is usually inaccurate. There are no villains in history textbooks, Loewen points out. Whatever the reason, students are being robbed of an education and a lesson that in life there are not always easy answers. Pilgrims also benefit from history textbooks as they say pilgrims began their colonies with nothing when really they just took over Native American villages deserted due to the diseases brought over by previous European visitors. James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me discusses American History and the inaccuracies being taught to children in America's schools. Shouldn't students know the truth of American historical events American students should know that President Woodrow Wilson was a staunch racist and when he left office the federal government which had been integrated was no longer. Loewen then compares and contrasts the information in the textbooks with factual historical information. Also left out of texts, that I personally found revolting, was the fact that the pilgrims dug up Native American gravesites in search of goods they needed.


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