As Lies My Teacher Told Me kept selling, Loewen began to find quotations from it popping up all over the web. Initially he was most pleased to find “Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat the eleventh grade,” quoted widely, because he meant it as a joke and as a way to pop the pretentious balloon of the Santayana quotation, often repeated but never thought about. He was also pleased when two Kiswahili words, “sasha” and “zamani,” made their way into the English language in the United States because readers of LMTTM found them useful. Eventually, entire commercial websites brought forth Loewen quotes for posters, computer “wallpaper,” even T-shirts.
Websites that Compile Quotations by Loewen
- “GoodReads lists >121 quotations by Loewen”
- “AZ Quotes lists 25 quotations by Loewen”
- “Quotes.pub lists >67quotations by Loewen that they made into posters”
- “Wikiquotes lists many quotations by Loewen”
- “Libquotes lists many quotations by Loewen”
- “Inspiring Quotes lists many quotations by Loewen.”
Some, however, seem to have been chosen by algorithm rather than actual readers.
- “QuoteFancy lists a dozen quotations by Loewen made into computer wallpaper”
- “Claudia A. Fox Tree, Arawak Indian, selected quotations by Loewen about Thanksgiving.” Fox also selected “Loewen quotes about other Native topics”
- At Tumblr, visitors nominated quotations.
- Quizlet.com sells flashcards containing quotations and short passages from Lies My Teacher Told Me including this one: “Deep down, our culture encourages us to imagine that we are richer and more powerful because we’re smarter.”
- Another Quizlet quotation: “How people think about the past is an important part of their consciousness. If members of the elite come to think that their privilege was historically justified and earned, it will be hard to persuade them to yield opportunity to others. If members of deprived groups come to think that their deprivation is their own fault, then there will be no need to use force or violence to keep them in their places.”
- “Reel American History: 734 Sound Bytes” lists 734 quotations they deemed meritorious. About 40 are by me.
- Tumblr lists longer quotations by me.
Here are Jim Loewen’s selections of other things he wrote or said that he wished would get quoted but never did.
There is a reciprocal relationship between truth about the past and justice in the present. Telling the truth about the past helps cause justice in the present. Achieving justice in the present helps us tell the truth about the past. – Up a Creek, With a Paddle.
When the topic is shameful or controversial, oral sources are typically more accurate than written sources. – Up a Creek, With a Paddle.
History should be an occasion for cerebration, not celebration.
History must rest on evidence, not on opinions. – Up a Creek, With a Paddle.
When authors wrote about Lincoln influenced what they wrote about Lincoln. – Up a Creek, With a Paddle.
The Nadir of race relations is that terrible era between 1890 and 1940 when racism grew ever stronger, North and South. – Up a Creek, With a Paddle.