Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong  -     By: James Loewen
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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Touchstone Faith / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

There are lies in your children's textbooks. In their storybooks. On their television shows. And they're not just differences of opinion, casualties of what's scoffed at as pandering "political correctness." They're lies exposed by first-hand accounts, primary documents and undeniable research. From the myth of Columbus to the Iraq war, the certifiable events of history are constantly obscured by blind patriotism, capitulation to patriarchal biases and "feel-good" lessons...all of which strip history of the drama, passion and vitality it possesses. It's little wonder students list history as one of their most disliked subjects when they're getting fed watered-down factoids!

Through highlighting example after example, author James Loewen gives a passionate plea to teach history well--both for posterity and students' sakes. With an ardent love for unadulterated truth, Lies my Teacher Told Me is a powerful read that will make you examine each textbook twice! 444 indexed pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Touchstone Faith
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0743296281
ISBN-13: 9780743296281
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award-winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of America’s history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.

Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does 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 this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.

Author Bio

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America. He is a regular contributor to the History Channel's History magazine and is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont. He resides in Washington, D.C.

Editorial Reviews

"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 Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States
"An extremely convincing plea for truth in education." -- Mary Mackey, San Francisco Chronicle
"Remarkable." -- USA Today
"A lively critique." -- The New York Times
"Powerful and important...deserves to become an instant classic." -- The Washington Post Book World

Product Reviews

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  1. VirginiaJeff
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Outstanding book. Should be required reading.
    December 18, 2010
    VirginiaJeff
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As a Christian, I am struck by the fact that most of the Bible's commentary about humans and nations (including Israel) is very critical. In particular, the Old Testatment is unflinching in its reporting of people's failures, iincluding the failures of Israel's leaders and of Israel as a nation. It strikes me as the most honest history book ever written.

    My fellow Christian Americans claim to love the Bible for its honest portrait of mankind's need for salvation. Yet, many of them express anger whenever anyone -- or any book -- dwells on America's sins! They want to talk only of "American exceptionalism," and eagerly boast about our "goodness." This theological disconnect when discussing ourselves and our country is downright scary.

    Truth is a good thing. "Lies My Teacher Told Me" is filled with the kind of criticial truth that Christians should encourage and embrace.
  2. Andy Le Peau
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 6, 2010
    Andy Le Peau
    This is a fascinating, enjoyable and mind-opening book. James Loewen has an attitude, but that's what makes it so fun to read. He debunks dozens of myths and makes history incredibly interesting for those who thought it was boring. Will you agree with everything he says? No. But that's the point. History isn't cut and dried. It is full of problems and opinions and debates. If you think he's wrong, he'd be delighted to have you research the point and prove it.
  3. Greg Williamson
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    September 25, 2009
    Greg Williamson
    Professor Loewen offers a scathing critique of several standard American history high school textbooks. A basic problem, as he puts it, is "heroification, a degenerative process (much like calcification) that makes people over into heroes. Through this process, our educational media turn flesh-and-blood individuals into pious, perfect creatures without conflicts, pain, credibility, or human interest" (pg. 19). Professor Loewen's professed aim is to get behind all the usual fluff and stuff -- the distortions, half-truths, and outright lies -- so often associated with historical figures. He wants to dig down to the facts that prove them to be very real people with very real flaws who made very real mistakes. This, he hopes, will spur a very real interest in American history, which at the present time is commonly viewed with about as much excitement as a root canal. Without in any way intending to promote wrong or suppress truth, for several reasons I find myself questioning much about Loewen's approach:* Every person is a combination of good and bad. Which is one reason hero worship is so dangerous: it blinds us to our hero's faults and shortcomings. On this count, Loewen's denunciation of "heroification" is right on the mark. * History is not self-interpreting. We all view history through our own personal grid of preconceptions, preferences, and prejudices. Loewen has gone looking for dirt -- and has found quite a bit of it. On the other hand, the aim of the textbook publishers he criticizes is to highlight the good in people and the positive impact they have made on the world.* While we should not overlook our leaders' blatant shortcomings, and particularly those with far-reaching negative consequences, the truth is that every person has a blind spot (and often more than one). Which is one reason why a plurality of leadership is always preferable to a dictatorship.
  4. James Wolf
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    June 1, 2009
    James Wolf
    Lies My Teacher Told me is a LIE! This is a book with a very strong left wing agenda. I was fooled by the description. The main argument that this book poses is that the way history is being taught in America is wrong because it paints the USA as a force of good in the world. In other words history, as it is presently being taught in American classrooms is not liberal enough. The book is an exercise in Relativism and probably is required reading in Ward Churchills classroom. This book received stellar reviews from: San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times. I have returned my copy for a refund.
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