Lies My Teacher Told Me

Topics: United States, History, Christopher Columbus Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: February 22, 2011
The book that I chose for my book report was “Lies My Teacher Told Me”, by James W. Loewen. At first, I thought this book would be the worse out of the 5 to read. I thought that I do not need some Book to tell me I am uneducated in American history. But after I read it, I realized that the book is much more than that. It is a critique on so many factors in our society. Only one is the student's education. But it does not critique the American history student like I thought. If a student is not original in his or her thought, it was because he or she was not led towards originality. In truth, these problems are nobody’s fault in particular and Loewen does not point fingers at me saying I am not a good history student or teacher. Instead he demonstrates the need and the process to be original in thought and interpretation and study of history and this resonated very strongly with me. "Some adults simply do not trust children to think," Loewen writes which means that it is not the students fault if he does not think originally about history. Therefore it is in a student's power to correct the situation, and within the adults’ power to help the student of American history to make progress.

If you attended history class in US public schools, chances are you believe Columbus discovered America, Helen Keller was an inspirational and democratic American, and you more than likely view Woodrow Wilson as champion on human rights and world peace. All of these beliefs are either outright lies, misinformation, or are guilty of lies by omission described by Loewen.

In twelve chapters, Loewen demonstrates how the authors of high school textbooks distort history to the point that much of what the books contain is essentially untruthful. He has chapters on how writers make boring heroes out of interesting historical people; what roles Christopher Columbus actually did and did not play in history; the real truth about how the United States has treated its...
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