Lies my teacher told me Everything your American history textbook got wrong

James W. Loewen

Book - 2018

Criticizes the way history is presented in current textbooks, and suggests a fresh and more accurate approach to teaching American history.

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2nd Floor 973/Loewen Due Oct 11, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Textbooks
Published
New York : The New Press [2018]
Language
English
Item Description
The preface (©2018) states that the only new words in this 2018 publication are in the preface.
Previous copyright dates listed on title page verso are 1995 and 2007.
Physical Description
xxix, 446 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781620973929
1620973928
9781620974674
1620974673
Main Author
James W. Loewen (author)
  • Introduction: Something has gone very wrong
  • Handicapped by history : the process of hero-making
  • 1493 : the true importance of Christopher Columbus
  • The truth about the first Thanksgiving
  • Red eyes
  • "Gone with the wind" : the invisibility of racism in American history textbooks
  • John Brown and Abraham Lincoln : the invisibility of antiracism in American history textbooks
  • The land of opportunity
  • Watching Big Brother : what textbooks teach about the federal government
  • See no evil : choosing not to look at the War in Vietnam
  • Down the memory hole : the disappearance of the recent past
  • Progress is our most important product
  • Why is history taught like this?
  • What is the result of teaching history like this?
  • Afterword: The future lies ahead
  • and what to do about them.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Loewen's politically correct critique of 12 American history textbooks-including The American Pageant by Thomas A. Bailey and David M. Kennedy; and Triumph of the American Nation by Paul Lewis Todd and Merle Curti-is sure to please liberals and infuriate conservatives. In condemning the way history is taught, he indicts everyone involved in the enterprise: authors, publishers, adoption committees, parents and teachers. Loewen (Mississippi: Conflict and Change) argues that the bland, Eurocentric treatment of history bores most elementary and high school students, who also find it irrelevant to their lives. To make learning more compelling, Loewen urges authors, publishers and teachers to highlight the drama inherent in history by presenting students with different viewpoints and stressing that history is an ongoing process, not merely a collection of-often misleading-factoids. Readers interested in history, whether liberal or conservative, professional or layperson, will find food for thought here. Illustrated. (Jan.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the author

Review by Publisher Summary 2

“Every teacher, every student of history, every citizen should read this book. It is both a refreshing antidote to what has passed for history in our educational system and a one-volume education in itself.”—Howard ZinnA new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the authorSince its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times.For this new edition, Loewen has added a new preface that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems, and calls out academic historians for abandoning the concept of truth in a misguided effort to be “objective.”What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls “an extremely convincing plea for truth in education.” In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Every teacher, every student of history, every citizen should read this book. It is both a refreshing antidote to what has passed for history in our educational system and a one-volume education in itself."—Howard ZinnA new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the authorSince its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times.For this new edition, Loewen has added a new preface that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems, and calls out academic historians for abandoning the concept of truth in a misguided effort to be "objective."What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls "an extremely convincing plea for truth in education." In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.