High school students hate history. When they list their favorite subjects, 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 Smithsonian Institution surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American history. What he found was an embarrassing amalgam of bland optimism, blind patriotism, & misinformation pure & simple, weighing in at an average of four-and-a-half pounds & 888 pages.
In response he has written Lies My Teacher Told Me, in part a telling critique of existing textbooks 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 & ranging over characters & events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, & the My Lai massacre, Loewen supplies the conflict, suspence, unresolved drama, & connection with current-day issues so appallingly missing from textbook accounts.
A treat to read & a serious critique of American Education. Lies My Teacher Told Me is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class.