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Review of Lies My Teacher Told Me

  • Submitted by: supervandy
  • on October 17, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,460 words

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Book Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
  Lies My Teacher Told Me is James Loewen’s analysis of how courses in American high schools and, more particularly, their textbooks, are a disservice to the students, and furthermore, the country said texts and courses aim to protect. Loewen begins by addressing how high school textbooks treat historical figures such as Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson: portraying them as bland heroes sans any interesting facts societal forces might find objectionable or define as “taboo.” Next, Loewen discusses how race is misrepresented in textbooks, using the example of Christopher Columbus, who is continually portrayed as a scholarly explorer, ignoring his role in slavery and genocide of Native Americans. Identified is how the roles of European-American beliefs in oneness, and inferiority of the Indian society, go unchallenged, perpetuating myths about superiority and inferiority of such races and further promoting Whiteness in schools. Loewen then turns to the plight of African Americans, and discusses how racism remains invisible in textbooks, which allows justification of the institution of slavery as well as demand for its abolition. Also discussed is how textbooks ignore other taboo subjects such as social stratification, and also how they portray government snafus like handling foreign policy and the Civil Rights movement as rosy government triumphs. Loewen then turns to explaining why textbooks misrepresent history in such ways: basically, the textbook industry is too large to risk upsetting parents, politicians, or special interest groups, so instead plays it safe by satisfying the majority and avoiding controversy by allowing continued use of approved textbooks despite their errors.
  Chapter 2, “1493: The True Importance of Christopher Columbus” focuses on disputing the significance of America’s “first great hero.” The twelve textbooks Loewen reviewed all are filled with unverifiable material regarding Columbus....

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Review of Lies My Teacher Told Me. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 17, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Review-Of-Lies-My-Teacher-Told-528752.html


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