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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of US history textbooks
By exposing a few areas where the most commonly used U.S. history textbooks "get it wrong" - completely wrong - and exploring the possible reasons why, Mr. Loewen has not only produced a well-written, fascinating expose, but also a well-thought-out discussion of the reasons why our history has become distorted and, in many cases, fictional. Mr. Loewen has no...
Published on 24 July 1999

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but goes to extreme
This is in general a good book in attempting to give a proper perspective on American history. Unfortunately, it swings to the opposite extreme and does at times misrepresent the facts so as to skew the presentation towards the "other perspective". Taken with a small grain of salt, it is worth reading.
Published on 30 Jun 1998


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of US history textbooks, 24 July 1999
By A Customer
By exposing a few areas where the most commonly used U.S. history textbooks "get it wrong" - completely wrong - and exploring the possible reasons why, Mr. Loewen has not only produced a well-written, fascinating expose, but also a well-thought-out discussion of the reasons why our history has become distorted and, in many cases, fictional. Mr. Loewen has no axe to grind, and this book will truly make you think - and also take what you read elsewhere with a grain of salt.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, well researched, and well written, 4 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Loewen's book is good at not only giving a mini-history education in and of itself, but in pointing out the reasons WHY history is taught so poorly and not enjoyed by most students. He has thoroughly footnoted his chapters and carefully addressed the inaccuracies/omitted episodes from high school history texts. This is an excellent book, receiving a 9 instead of a 10 only because he is occasionally a little impractical - preferring, for example, to think that children tell Helen Keller jokes to deflate a symbol too good to be true (rather than for the pure pleasure of telling cruel jokes) and believing America's Civil War was won with superior political ideology rather than gunpowder, supplies, and battles. (The title of his discussion on the Civil War ought to be "Fantasyland: An ivory tower view of war"). Remembering that NO history book is going to be written without some bias (even Loewen's), it is a pleasure to recommend this fine book for correction of errant historical perceptions and stimulation to learn more about American history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book. Should Be Read By Everyone., 4 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (Paperback)
Even if you think you're well acquainted with American history, you're in for a surprise. The information contained in this book is that which every American should know. It truly shows how relevant the study of history is to an adequate understanding of todays issues. Some readers may try to characterize this book as a leftist diatribe. I assure you, I've read many leftist critiques of our society and it's history, and this book is definitely not a leftist critique. It is remarkably even handed in it's treatment of all sides of the issues it addresses. Apparently some people don't like hearing the truth, but that is precisely why the history taught in schools is so inadequate (disgraceful is a more appropriate discription). Loewen is not concerned with promoting a single point of view. He is first and foremost a teacher. One who understands how important the truth is to an adequate understanding of the issues facing us today and to our ability to effectively deal with them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth must be told., 18 July 1999
By A Customer
I highly recommend this book. What I take away from it is that the need for civic myth and religion is so great that it has caused our nation's history text books to be severely warped by the omission of much information that is contrary to our national ideals and myths. In contrast to the history books, the author quotes primary sources as to what many historical figures thought at various points in their lives. These thoughts are frequently far from admirable but still, that is not a justifiable reason to deny that they occurred. We learn best from the complete truth, the least from omissions and lies. True history is a mess, filled with bad and good, sure steps and missteps, winners and losers, knowables and unknowables. Good history provides it all, and leaves the weighing of it up to the reader, not the author. Thus, this book argues by example in favor of good history.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's stop encouraging mindless conformity, 30 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Whether or not they agree with all of Loewen's analyses, most people would admit that high school American history texts are pretty boring. Loewen focuses on the problem; publishers are afraid to offend anyone, so textbooks see the government as altruistic, past leaders as cardboard heroes and US history as a constant progression towards some idealistic goal. The books tend to leave out direct quotes from speeches and other primary sources, they fail to make connections between the past and present, and they gloss over the recent past. Loewen's point is not that we have to agree with all his viewpoints but that we need to train students to think. Teachers can't do so if the entire class, by seeing history as a bunch of isolated facts to be memorized, is being put to sleep.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If the truth matters ..., 19 Sep 1998
By A Customer
As a college history professor, I cannot recommend this book more strongly. Those who failed to appreciate its candor obviously prefer feel-good mythology to the sometimes uncomfortable reality of history. This is not a "liberal" book or a "Marxist" book, as many who are uncomfortable with its "agenda" will assert. The only agenda, as far as I could discern, was the truth. Indeed, much of what Mr. Loewen has documented I have come across in my own research. I found the presentation to be balanced and well documented (contradicting a previous reviewer who suggested reading "original" sources instead of this book, overlooking the fact that Mr. Loewen uses extensive historical documentation, many of them eyewitness accounts, and has amassed 57 pages of footnotes for his 318 page book!). History should be about the truth and the truth is sometimes ugly. Mr. Loewen does an outstanding job peeling off the layers of misinformation. If you prefer to keep the blinders on, if you prefer to believe America can do no wrong, then take out your old high school history book and hug it tight. If you'd like to help break down the walls of ignorance, if you'd like to start healing the wounds of the past, then I suggest reading this book. Awareness is the first step to change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about time someone did this, 8 May 1998
By A Customer
This teacher sat down with a pile of high school US history textbooks and compared them. He discovered what many of us knew already: they lied to us, and they are still lying to us.
As most people in the US who graduated from high school will recall, the typical US history taught at that level is essentially a 'hurrah for us' cheerleading session. Loewen debunks this with frequent references to actual high school history texts as his support, and he makes it quite clear that what most students get is a sanitized version. His admonition to teach about 'ideas' as well as the events that resulted from them is well taken.
And for someone who (as one reviewer commented) is supposedly pushing his political agenda, he's very rough on Woodrow Wilson (as well he should be). I think his agenda is to make history more interesting and relevant to the student. Maybe if more history teachers were permitted to use texts like this one, we wouldn't always be listening to poll results that reveal that 80% of our high school students have no idea of the correct answer on almost any historical question.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book, 6 Feb 1998
By A Customer
I thought it was a well thought out, informative book. I was amazed at all of the things I thought I knew about and ended up being lies. I have showed this book to teachers at my school and they all agree that most students don't become aware of these lies untill college. The history tecaher I have allowed me and aa friend to do a presentation to other classes exposing some of the lies this book talked about and all of the other students were just as stunned as I was at first, to find that they had been lied to from a book that millions of students all over the world read and learn info from every day. I am finally realizing why I hated history clss so bad when I was younger, every one of the people we talked about had a picture over them and they all appeared exactly the same, they all did good things for every one and took no more than what was given. But in realitly they all took every thing they wanted and more and they took advantage of any one they could.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read in years, 22 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (Paperback)
American history is very badly taught at the high school level. I've known that for years. But Lies My Teacher Told Me helped me understand why, and the great damage this does to our country.
The book takes myths we've all been told and explodes them, and shows the danger of teaching our children things that are patently untrue. I'm something of a history buff, but this book kept hitting me with facts, causes, and interpretations that were new to me.
And the book is not an anti-American diatribe, although some would certainly see it as that. For instance, it offers evidence of far stronger anti-slavery feelings in the Civil War North than I had ever realized existed.
Yes, the author has an axe to grind, and the examples he pulls from the textbooks he discusses are probably the worst ones. But his axe is aimed at bad education, which seems worth attacking.
What's more, the book is well written. An entertaining read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People read it!, 10 Mar 2009
By 
Denis Peskov - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am Russian. In my short lifetime (i'm 28 only) they have re-written Russian/Soviet history textbooks already two times, changing black to white arbitrarily, whatever suited the government better.
No nation wants to look bad. But producing fairy tales and lying to yourself is not a way out. And after acknowledging all sides of your heritage you are not going to be any worser. Quite the opposite, i think.
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