Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Front Cover
New Press, 2008 - History - 444 pages
1100 Reviews
Winner of the 1996 American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in this thought-provoking book, Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying twelve leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that "not one" does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past. In ten powerful chapters, Loewen reveals that:

The United States dropped three times as many tons of explosives in Vietman as it dropped in all theaters of World War II, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Ponce de Leon went to Florida mainly to capture Native Americans as slaves for Hispaniola, not to find the mythical fountain of youth
Woodrow Wilson, known as a progressive leader, was in fact a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations
The first colony to legalize slavery was not Virginia but Massachusetts

From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
397
4 stars
395
3 stars
195
2 stars
85
1 star
28

Powerful and well-researched. - Goodreads
Certainly not a page turner, but interesting enough. - Goodreads
A good intro to the real history of America. - Goodreads
The author seems very arrogant throughout his writing. - Goodreads
Very interesting and seemingly well researched. - Goodreads
Good premise, but everything is about race and sexism. - Goodreads

Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

Very interesting description of the pieces of history left out of (or completely distorted by) high-school US history books. The analysis throughout the book about what this incomplete picture does to ... Read full review

Review: Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

User Review  - J. - Goodreads

good but too long. I get the point yo Read full review

About the author (2008)

James W. Loewen is the bestselling author of Lies Across America and Sundown Towns (The New Press), among many other books and articles. He is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and lives in Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic information