What American Historic Sites Get Wrong Between and aboutnortherners found it less embarrassing to let Dixie tell the story of the cause it lost than to reminisce about the cause they had abandoned. It began as a war to force or prevent the breakup of the United States. As it ground on it became a struggle to end slavery. This was in keeping with Confederate national policy, which virtually re-enslaved free people of color into work gangs on earthworks throughout the south.
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In this non-fiction work, author and sociologist James W. Loewen analyzes the contents of twelve textbooks on American history, ultimately concluding that these textbooks distort historical fact in order to create a romanticized, whitewashed view of American history.
His two case studies are Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller. They ignore her radical political activism, her staunch socialism, and her academic research. Wilson is noted as an important president, but his bigotry towards black Americans and communists is left out. Loewen says herofication is influenced by an aversion to conflict and a desire to speak well of the dead.
In the next several chapters, Loewen lays out the portrayal of racial minorities in American history textbooks, focusing first on American Indians and then on black Americans.
The Pilgrims receive similar treatment, as the textbooks paint these Europeans as settlers in a vast, virtually unpopulated land.
Those at the Plymouth settlement are helped by Squanto, an English-speaking native. The textbooks fail to mention that he spoke English because he was formerly a slave. Loewen moves on the role of black Americans, slave and free, in American textbooks.
He explores racial tensions spanning from the first slaves brought to America inthe political career of KKK leader David Duke inand all the wars, bigoted legislation, and race riots in between. In discussing the antebellum South and the Civil War, Loewen admits that textbooks have changed over the decades.
Without a clear understanding of US race relations, students are left without crucial knowledge needed to improve this problem. America is consistently painted as a land of opportunity, deliberately compared to England, with its centuries old class stratifications.
Despite this emphasis on settlers leaving family for cheap land out west, the election of populist presidents like Andrew Jackson, and the growth of American wealth after World War II, the textbooks fail to note that inequality has always been present in America. Class discrimination and the enormous advantages upper class Americans have always had are largely omitted from textbooks, something not seen with racial discrimination.
When this information is withheld, Loewen argues, working class students will assume their own inferiority. Next, Loewen addresses the role textbooks play in the context of current events and the kind of people they are designed to mold students into.
By presenting the actions of the US government as almost uniformly noble, he says, textbooks encourage students to put huge amounts of trust in their government.
These omissions lead to more trusting student citizens. Loewen notes that textbooks devote less time to each decade as they progress, with the most recent history being the least explored and explained. When textbooks discuss the Vietnam War, they focus on the controversy at home and leave out the searing images of massacres such as My Lai.
The textbooks do not acknowledge how historians disagree on many issues of the recent past, such as the Gulf War, preferring to present easy, absolute truths. The final chapter of a textbook, Loewen discovers, are usually vague and optimistic, preferring not to comment on global warming, Middle Eastern conflict, or growing global inequality.
In his final two chapters, Loewen examines why history is being taught in this way and the consequences of doing so. Textbook publishers, he explains, not only have to appeal to students and teachers, but also to special interest groups and conservative selection boards. They must appeal to large markets like Texas and California, making sure both states are well represented.
Large, complicated historical events must be reduced to a chapter or even a page, with little room for nuance. With publishing costs so high, the writing becomes safe, bland, and nationalistic. As a result, students, particularly girls, minorities and the working class, view history as boring and disconnected from their lives.
Education, Loewen believes, should teach students how to think. Modern textbooks, missing nuance and key facts, teach students what to think and nothing more.
Students will care about history when it connects to their lives, something that will only occur when textbooks stop lying to them.
Copyright Super Summary.It’s not that I didn’t find pathos effective–those humane society commercials set to Sarah McLaughlin’s “Angel” have me blinking back tears every time–it just seemed cheap, almost like cheating, to use people’s emotions against them in an argument.
Effective Use of Pathos in Lies My Teacher Told Me James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me is a critically acclaimed work pertaining to the inaccuracies found in many history textbooks. Lies My Teacher Told Me notes that history is a school subject often disliked by students.
Using a basic understanding of ethos, pathos, and logos, otherwise known as the modes of persuasion, the duo penned a succinct, yet incredibly effective, date night proposal which they knew Jake's. My Notes ACTIVITY continued 1 co˜ ers: treasury by William Shakespeare Drama Logos Ethos ACT III, SCENE 2 Pathos Antony Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. - Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen High school history textbooks are seen, by students, as presenting the last word on American History. Rarely, if ever, do they question what their text tells them about our collective past.
Transcript of Lies My Teacher Told Me- Chapter 6 Chapter 6 Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen John Brown Most textbooks don't include Brown's full story.