Friday, March 25, 2016

Book review: Lies my teacher told me

Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve 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 ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:
The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth. Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations. The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts.
From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

My Review:
This book is one I've been meaning to get since I was 15 and my educator mom mentioned it to me. In retrospect, I should have gotten it back then.
This book is full of interesting facts and is no doubt an important book to read if you truly believe history is important. But alas, it's better as a supplement to education or learning aid than light reading. I'll be keeping it around in case I come across a book challenge that needs an educational read, but other than that it'll probably stay on my shelf until my daughter hits her teen years. 
If you're really into learning and have a great attention span, then definitely get this book and read it. If you're like me and like fictional reads and learning about history from tumblr posts, it might be better to skip this one.
I got this book from a bookoutlet haul.

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