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.