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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen
Price: $12.60 from
Barnes & Noble
High school student hate history. When they list their favorite subject, history always comes in
last. They consider it the most irrelevant of twenty-one school subjects; bo-o-o-oring' is the
adjective most often applied.
James Loewen spent two years at the Smithstonian Institute surveying twelve leading high
school textbooks of American History. What he found was an embarassing amalgam of bland
optimism, blind patriotism, and misinformation pure and simple, weighing in at an average of
four-and-a-half pounds and 888 pages.
In response, he has written Lies My Teacher Told Me, in part a
telling critique of existing books but, more importantly, a wonderful
retelling of American history as it should - and
could - be taught to American students.
Beginning with pre-Columbian American history and ranging over characters as diverse as
Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, and the My Lai
massacre, Loewen supplies the conflict, suspense, unresolved drama, and
connection with current-day issues so appallingly missing from textbook
A treat to read and a serious critique of American education, Lies My Teacher Told
Me is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class.
Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong
by James W. Loewen
Price: $21.56 from Barnes & Noble
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History
Wrong is in its 22nd printing and continues to draw media attention and
bookstore sales. It demonstrates how
Americans get a distorted understanding of their past in their
high school years.
Unfortunately, when they leave school, their miseducation
Lies Across America: What Our Historic Markers and Monuments Get
Wrong shows how
our shrines of public history suffer from the
same kinds of omissions, distortions, and outright falsehoods
that Lies My Teach Told Me found in American history textbooks.
These misrepresentations on the American landscape help keep
us ignorant as a people, less able to understand what really
happened in the past, and less able to apply our understanding to
issues facing the United States today.
Lies Across America teaches visitors to read between the
lines of historical markers and to deconstruct the sculptures on
monuments and memorials. Viewed in this way, the lies and
omissions across the American countryside suggest times and ways
that the United States went astray as a nation.
Included are a few sites that need no correction because
they depict the past in all its complexity, even when it is
embarrassing. The Shaw Memorial on Boston Common is one example,
the Lincoln Memorial another.
So come along -- and see what you've been missing! The book
covers more than a hundred historic sites in all 50 states and
the District of Columbia. It includes major sites like Valley
Forge, the Jefferson Memorial, and Independence Hall. Readers
may be shocked at what they didn't know about some of these
places. It also includes far less well-known events, like the
Louisiana site where more than 150 Republicans were executed in
General readers will enjoy Lies Across America because of
its light touch while recommending it to other readers because of
its important information.
Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World
by Johnny Clegg and Savuka
Price: $9.95 from
"Johnny Clegg is a South African anthropologist and historian, self-taught musician, and Zulu by choice. His music has spoken for those caught in the grip of apartheid, both blacks and whites; songs of freedom, hope, and love.
His songs are uplifting and thoughtful, his lyrics both poetic and powerful."
This is the quintessential Johnny Clegg album and, really, no music collection is complete without it.
Price: $7.95 from
Advice that is a little bit more down to earth than that of the more famous Magic 8 Ball.