AP United States History
2 March 2014
Lies My Teacher Told Me, exposes many lies and/or misconceptions that different history textbooks teach to the students of America in the first six chapters.
Chapter one is written with a focus on what Loewen refers to as "heroification," a process through which a people make heroes out of ordinary people, understate a person's role in society, or overstate it in order to make them appear as heroes of noble causes. Loewen first discusses Helen Keller and how most students are not taught that she was a radical social justice activist who openly praised the U.S.S.R. when it came into existence; coincidentally, Wilson actually commenced a secret war against the Bolsheviks that was overshadowed by his push for the "League of Nations" and his wars in Central America.
Chapter two considers the impact of Europe and the Americas on each other. Astoundingly, no one textbook the author surveyed describes these geopolitical implications of Columbus's encounter with the Americas. Three of the twelve books credit Indians with having developed important crops. Otherwise, the west to east flow of ideas and wealth goes unnoticed. Eurocentrism blinds textbook authors to contributions to Europe, whether from Arab astronomers, African navigators, or American Indian social structure. By accepting this limited viewpoint, these history textbooks never invite students to think about what happened to reduce mainland Indian societies, whose wealth and cities awed the Spanish, to the impoverished peasantry they are today. They also rob them of the chance to appreciate how important America has been in the formation of the modern world.
Chapter Three was focused on the truth about the first thanksgiving. In this chapter Loewen explains that the popular idea of Thanksgiving is based on "feel good" history that has little to do with the facts. In addition, most history text books choose not to mention any of...