Why do the textbooks used by both grade schools and high schools resort to lies when teaching American history?
As I watched the video and read parts of the books, I began to wonder why they would lie. Throughout school, they teach us to be honest and truthful in everything we say and do. So therefore why would they lie to us? According to James W. Loewen, "Taking ideas seriously does not fit with the rhetorical style of textbooks, which presents events so as to make them seem foreordained along a line of constant progress". He goes on to say that including ideas would make history contingent. It would present uncertainty. That would not be consider a textbook learning style. Textbooks unfold history as melodrama, instead of with drama or suspense. An example would be John Brown. The treatment of Brown, like the treatment of Slavery and Reconstructino, has changed in American history books. John Brown was considered insane from 1890 until 1970, then slowly began to change back over into sane. Some textbooks emphasize the claim that no slaves actually joined John Brown. At times, I think it would just be easier to go back in time like in the movie Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Not only would we get the truth, but we would have seen bits and pieces of it. I think more and more students would enjoy history more if we actually got the truth rather than lies. I think that if we had the suspense and drama, we would learn more. To me in high school, history was a mixture of english and math. All of the boring parts of those two classes combined into one. The teacher was not much better either. I think if the teacher made it more exciting.
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