Q. What Did Students Say About Lies?
Students took matters into their own hands after the first edition of Lies came out in 1995. I heard from some of them. A fourteen-year-old in South Dakota wrote to tell me what she thought of Lies My Teacher Told Me and another of my books, Lies Across America. “These are EXCELLENT books,” she said. “After reading them, I spread them around the school to different teachers. All were shocked and, due to this, are changing their teaching methods.”
A high-school student wrote that he and his friends had “read your book Lies My Teacher Told Me and it has opened our eyes to the true history behind our country, positive and negative.” He added that he couldn’t wait to use the book as a reference in the American history class he would take in the next semester. A girl in North Carolina did exactly that. Her father wrote to me, “My daughter uses Lies My Teacher Told Me as a guerrilla text in her grade eleven Advanced Placement U.S. History and loves it—although the teacher isn’t always as pleased.”
One of my favorite emails came from a young man who said, “Dear Mr. Loewen, I really like your book Lies My Teacher Told Me. I use it to heckle my history teacher from the back of the room.” I also heard from a few teachers who told me that my book, in the hands of their students, had made their lives miserable until they got their own copies, which shook them out of their textbook rut. These stories showed how the teaching of history can change from the bottom up. I hope this new edition makes it easier for you to bother your teachers with Lies.