One reason why U.S. history gets liked least is because it is more dominated by the textbook than any other course. This is astounding and unfortunate, because textbooks are so bad, so boring, and so big that many classrooms just read them – nothing else!
General Problems With Textbooks
- The “authors” of most U.S. history textbooks didn’t actually write them. They didn’t even read them, nor do they know who did. See Diana Schemo, “Schoolbooks Are Given F’s in Originality,” in the NY Times.
- Daniel Johnson, “American history classes are actually worsening kids’ understanding of America,” 8/6/2018, Black Youth Project
- “Code Switch,” an NPR program, interviewed Loewen in August, 2018, about general textbook problems.
- Interviewed by KS Public Radio, Loewen points out “the biggest lie” in textbooks.
- “Debunking History,” Interview with Jim Loewen, 5/2000
- Sean Illing, “The biggest lie we still teach in American history classes“
- This article by Stephen Sawchuk in Education Week makes clear my criticism of U.S. history textbooks.
- “Farewell to the U.S. History Textbook?”
- “Future Shock and History”
- This article critiques textbooks’ treatment of the American War against Vietnam.
- “The Vietnam War Revisioned by Those Who Opposed It,”
- “The Pentagon’s Commemorating the Vietnam War. So Should We.”
- “‘Confronting’ Mitch Daniels at Purdue”
- “George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and Me”
- “Going Postal History”
- Loewen’s “Patriotism over democracy” offers a summary of Lies My Teacher Told Me. It is within Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching
Textbooks Mystify Secession and the Civil War
- “Doonesbury as Documentary: Or, Comic Strip Imitates Life.”
- “Time to De-Confederatize the Textbook, “The American Journey”: An Open Letter to James McPherson,”
- “On the Amazing Similarity Between the New Texas Textbook Standards and the Textbook, “The Americans”: An Open Letter to Gerald A. Danzer,”
- “It’s Time to De-Confederatize “The American Pageant”: An Open Letter to David Kennedy,”
- “Why Do People Believe Myths about the Confederacy? Because Our Textbooks and Monuments Are Wrong.”