Review Of Lies My Teacher Told Me Essay

Essay, Research Paper

James W. Loewen, in my sentiment, makes a really valid statement in Lies My Teacher Told Me. He argues that learning ( of history ) today relies excessively much on the text edition which glorify the United States and its imperfect leaders and heroes. His illustrations, in fact, are really surprising to those most unfamiliar, or deceived, in their apprehension of American History and are distressingly obvious to those reasonably educated in the events of our state s yesteryear. Personally, I agree with Loewen s statements and happen his points to be meriting of virtue, myself holding been taught from assorted beginnings other than text books and already informed of some of the incidents he refers to.

The event, or concatenation of events, which came most surprisingly to me was Loewen s description of the first Thanksgiving ; I had already remotely known about some of the fortunes, but the acrimonious inside informations of American colony astonished me. For illustration, I had learned every bit early as 5th class that the Europeans brought disease to Native Americans, but non that the human death rate was ninety to 96 per centum. I besides knew of the first European colonies of St. Augustine, Roanoke, and Jamestown, which Loewen criticizes as being left out of or merely mentioned in some books. He besides criticizes the text edition for holding instilled the idea that Europeans had settled America, get downing with the reaching at Plymouth ; he states that long before their reaching, Indians had settled the land and had paths linking the Rockies to New England and the Great Lakes to Florida. Furthermore, black African blowout slaves were the first foreign colonists, he says.

Loewen is genuinely a really erudite historiographer, naming countless inside informations and illustrations: he corrects the misconception refering Squanto, who did non openly aid colonists, but had no other pick upon happening his folk dead after variola, the bubonic pestilence, and other diseases swept through. He besides mentions things like maps and guidebooks given to the pilgrims and the possibility of a highjacking and forced landing at Plymouth, non the stormy conditions job as taught through grammar and high school. Besides these inside informations, pages are spent on the cause, Numberss, and wake refering the pestilence of diseases, which left one out of 20 life. He continues to discourse the ever-lessening population of Native Americans, saying that wherever the first colonists and adventurers found Indians, 1000s less existed there old ages subsequently, one time the country had been settled. The information is overpowering and greatly supports his unfavorable judgment of the text editions.

The 2nd portion that I found to be of great involvement is Loewen s treatment of Woodrow Wilson and the Procedure of Hero-Making. Strangely, even though I had ne’er earlier been really familiar with his disposal, I found the comparing between portraiture of Wilson and world to be humorously different. The point that the writer intends to do with his treatment of Wilson is the unlawful devising of really unheroic historical figures into heroes. He attempts to convert us that the incidents that Wilson was involved in and/or caused are no ground for him to be seen as the hero he is today. Loewen besides says T

hat because of this heroification, the most likely to be chosen if we were to add a face to Mt. Rushmore would be Wilson s. But, in saying the rough qualities of Wilson s life, one being racism, Loewen says no black individual could of all time see Woodrow Wilson a hero.

He enthralls us with the other surprising and unfavourable events of Wilson s clip in office, chiefly refering his traffics with Latin America. And subsequently, he begins the stopping point of this treatment with the notice that the campaigner ( Warren G. Harding ) opposing Wilson s replacement won the election of 1920 with no run. Loewen is demoing us merely how much Wilson and similar minds were wanted out of office. He besides mentions here that in this hero-making procedure, the text editions strain to explicate the election and extinguish his defects at the same clip. To explicate in one sentence, the United States sought ( utilizing military force ) to put up a new authorities and fundamental law in Haiti and invaded other Latin American states to break the U.S. place. The textbooks describe this as the president desiring to construct friendly relationships with the states of Latin America, and fault the invaded states for these military actions, as straight quoted from our ain text edition The American Pageant: Necessity was the female parent of armed Caribbean intercession.

Loewen besides mentions the unknown war with Russia, in which Wilson sent military personnels to assist the White side of the civil war in Russia. This incident is non even mentioned in any of the 12 textbooks that he surveyed.

He explains that Wilson was besides radically loyal to America and greatly enjoyed being American, naming opposite trusters hyphenated Americans who wish to destruct the Republic. Matching to his utmost beliefs, Wilson thought little of anyone with contrasting positions in any affair.

Loewen is surely wise and right in taking Woodrow Wilson to back up his statement against hero-making in American History text edition. Wilson is the perfect illustration of one more undeserving than holding the qualities to be considered an American hero. As Loewen says, merely after WWII did policymakers and historiographers begin to look kindly unto Wilson.

Some of the subjects that Loewen screens are non rather as interesting or contrasting between the text editions and world. But the thought he hopes to go forth us with is that people, and the instructors educating the people most particularly, must endeavor to understand history better by integrating a assortment of beginnings because the text editions seek to portray our state every bit best as possible. This is the ground why he tells us that the type of instructor he appreciates, and dedicates this book to, is the 1 who goes beyond the text edition s information and incorporates the present with the yesteryear.

It may be because I have been fortunate plenty to see this type of learning for my most recent apprehension of American history, but I to the full agree with Loewen s thoughts in Lies My Teacher Told Me and found the book to be both interesting and enlightening. Besides giving me better thoughts for traveling about larning US history, it educated me in the events which will non be mentioned or covered every bit to the full as in Lies My Teacher Told Me.